Indigo Vat Dyeing and Shibori

Sunday, 9am to 12pm  |  June 16
Thursday, 6pm to 9pm  |  Sept 19

Indigo blue is a true wonder of nature, a treasured, plant-derived color used for centuries by multiple cultures to dye and embellish textiles. Our 3-hour beginner’s workshop will focus on Shibori, the Japanese art of shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing in carefully maintained vats.

  • Learn how to create and maintain an all-natural indigo vat; we’ll cover: vat chemistry and ingredient options; natural fiber prep & post-dye care; and the set-up & tools needed for small-batch, home-based projects.

  • Experiment with Shibori pattern-making; we have a wide selection of templates and other materials to play with, and library of sample work for inspiration.

  • Create and relax with in a low-key, convivial environment.

Hands-on work will focus on folded, tied and clamped resist techniques, with a review of other historic and modern Shibori dyeing techniques for pattern-making. Students will leave with a book of recipes and resources, dyed fiber samples, and two finished (silk & cotton) handkercheifs. 

Class Fee: $60; $20 Kids (12 and under). Gardeners, check out our Learn As You Grow discount below.

Materials: Included. Students are welcome to bring their own pre-washed, natural fiber samples for dyeing; we suggest small lengths of yarn, fabric, or small clothing item - a pair of cotton socks is a fun choice!

Ages: All-ages; 12 and under must attent with parent or guardian.
Experience Level: Beginners to Intermediate. For gardeners, artists and citizen scientists!

Instructor: Karen Cornish

NOTE for wheelchair users: We are located in a 19th-century building with only stairs, and no elevator. We regret that our space is not accessible by wheelchair.


Learn-As-You-Grow Gardener’s Discount

We raise and sell traditional dye plants hardy to Zone 5 on our farm in Hinesburg, including Japanese Indigo (blue), Madder (red), Weld (yellow), and other varieties not typically found in local nurseries. We love growing and using our own colors and want to teach you to do the same, to Learn As You Grow!

Our plant seedlings will be available for sale in April on our website, for pick up mid-May in Hinesburg and other locations TBA. For every dollar spent on our seedlings (or other dyestuffs later in the summer), we’ll give you the same amount off a workshop held at our Montpelier studio. How it works:

- Sign up for any workshop and we’ll email a discount code that may be used online or in person (at our Hinesburg farm or the Capitol City Farmer's Market in Montpelier)
- Purchase plants (online or in person) and we’ll email a discount code that may be used towards any workshop.
- Plant quantities are limited. Discount based on pre-tax amount (“subtotal”)
- Offer good for workshops occurring through September 2019 at our Montpelier studio
- Workshop spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis

Here’s a list of our 2019 traditional dye plant varieties. “Traditional” means that their light- and wash-fast properties are well-known and tested over time; there are many other botanical sources of color that we’ll cover in other workshops such as Making Botanical Inks and Food Dyes from Nature.