Resist Dyeing With Organic Indigo

Resist Dyeing With Organic Indigo


This workshop explores the beautiful Japanese art of resist dyeing known as shibori, and the magical blue hues of the indigo plant. Indigo is unlike other plant-based dyes in many ways. It is one of the very few plant dyes that does not require the use of a mordant to bind to fabric. In addition, because the compounds responsible for its blue pigment are not soluble in water, the plant has to be prepared in very particular ways to enable successful fabric dyeing. Students could spend a lifetime learning just about indigo dyeing, and still not learn all there is to know. But because of its special properties, it deserves workshops, like this one, devoted just to its wondrousness.

Students Will Take Home:

  • a range of fabric samples resist dyed with various shibori techniques

  • one completed shibori scarf (either silk or organic cotton) prepared by the student based on their earlier sample experiments

  • skills to further explore the vast, wondrous world of shibori and indigo

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  • Date: multiple (see drop down menu)
  • Location: in/near Baddeck (students will sent venue details by email)
  • Time: 10 am to 4 pm (with 1 hour for lunch - not provided)
  • Experience: beginner to intermediate
  • Supplies Fee: $25 (tax inclusive), payable directly to the instructor (for yarn, fabric, dyes, etc.).
  • Tax: this web platform collects Nova Scotia's 15% HST for those with a Canadian billing address; for others, HST is payable at the workshop (a receipt will be provided).
  • In Person Payments: cash or credit card
  • Age: 19+ due to the use of hot dye vats
  • Minimum Registrants To Proceed: 4
  • Promo Code: ’online10%’ for online registration only
  • Walk-ins: welcome, space permitting
  • Terms of Service: registration constitutes agreement with the Terms of Service.

The word shibori comes from the verb root 'shiboru', which means "to wring, squeeze, press." Shibori encompasses hundreds of different resist dye techniques developed over millennia in Japan. Cloth is clamped, stitched, tied, and wrapped in ways that prevent dye from reaching certain areas. The resulting surface designs - with some areas dyed, and other areas not - can be quite remarkable. Historically, indigo was the most popular dye used for shibori work, though many other natural dyes were also used.

Students Will Learn:

  • how to properly prepare, manage and use an organic indigo vat
  • foundational techniques in three major categories of shibori:
    • itajime: shaped resist shibori
    • arashi: pole wrapped shibori
    • nui: stitch resist shibori

(kanoko, the category of bound cloth shibori most associated with simple western 'tie-dye' is not taught in this class)

  • dye studio safety practices
  • natural post-dye treatments to protect indigo-dyed fibres and prevent pigment loss
  • how to keep good records so that results can be reproduced in the future