Mysteries of Indigo: Obtaining Blue Natural Dyes

with Joann Darling

Saturday, July 6, 1 – 4 pm

$80 members  / $85 non-members (includes handouts and a piece of silk dyed in class)

In many cultures, the color blue holds significance in religious beliefs and spiritual rites, where it is thought to have a positive effect on the mind and body. The color meaning of indigo reflects great devotion, wisdom, and justice along with fairness and impartiality. Humans have been fascinated with indigo-producing plants since Neolithic times. Working with indigo can be a magical experience–there is a great deal of folklore associated with transforming fibers from white to green then, magically before the eyes, to a deep rich blue.


Superb natural blue dyes can be obtained from several` indigo-producing plants. Most of the blue dye plants are not closely related and come from different plant families. Students will be guided through the process of making a natural botanical indigo vat, get to work with several species of plants, and learn the techniques which produce beautiful patterns on fabric.


Everyone will take home a piece of silk fabric that they’ve dyed themselves.


For more about Joann, visit our faculty page, here.