Small-Batch Indigo Processing: Two Methods

(1) 2-hour session, Wednesday, September 25 | 6pm to 8pm

Vermonters, rejoice! We can grow and extract indigo blue from several indigo-bearing plants, including Persicaria tinctoria, or Japanese indigo, and Isatis tinctoria, or Dyer's Woad. Both are easily grown in our northern climate, and coaxing the blue out of them is a fascinating lesson in chemistry. Using freshly-harvested plants from our farm, students in this 2-hour workshop will:

  • Learn two extraction methods; one uses fermentation to produce pigment that may be dried and stored for later use; the other uses fresh leaves and ice for immediate use in a dye bath. Each yields a different, gorgeous shade of blue. We'll cover the science behind this plant-to-palette transformation, along with the ingredients and tools needed for small-batch processing.

  • Experiment with tie-dye and dye dipping, using our freshly-made ice vat. Paper and fiber samples, along with one silk scarf per student, will be provided.

  • Share your gardening, artistic and other creative pursuits with fellow DIY'ers in a low-key, convivial environment.

Students will leave with a resource list, dyed fiber samples, and one finished silk scarf.

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Class Fee: $40; $20 Kids (13 and under).
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; 13 and under must attend with parent or guardian. Older students 14-18, please contact us for more information.
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.