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Dyeing with Indigo
August 6 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm$110 – $135
Join us on the MOFGA campus for this immersive, hands-on workshop about dyeing with indigo! Japanese Indigo (Persicaria tinctoria) grows vigorously in Maine and can be used to dye fabric and wool many shades of blue. Come learn how to dye using fresh indigo that we’ll harvest together as part of the workshop!
The class will be taught by Hannah Welling, a fiber artist and farmer at Mindful Folk Farm in New Gloucester. Over the course of the day we will explore three methods of extracting indigo dye from plants: Ice Bath, Salt Rub, and Cold Soak. Each offers their own benefits and results, with the Cold Soak being the more involved and time consuming method. Expect to come away with your own dyed yarn/fabrics, knowledge of how to extract this magical color from plants you can grow yourself and, likely, blue hands!
We’ll also discuss growing indigo in your garden & over-dyeing methods, as well as the differences between dyeing plant and animal fibers, i.e. cotton vs wool. Participants will be provided with a small skein of yarn and several cotton napkins to dye, and are also welcome to bring a clothing item (made from cotton, hemp, silk or linen) from home to dye.
A note: Humans have been dyeing vibrant blues using indigo for thousands of years. Indigo dyeing was practiced from India to Mali to Peru and beyond. It’s also important to recognize the close ties between indigo and slavery. Sometimes called “slavery’s other cash crop”, Indigo production peaked in the mid 18th century in South Carolina, where the population of enslaved people in that state alone had grown to 18,000. When we celebrate the wonderful natural colors we can get from indigo we must also remember that this practice – like so much of American agriculture – was perfected at the profound expense of black people in this country.
$135; $115 for MOFGA members. Free for Journeypeople & Black Indigenous People of Color. Unfortunately, the deadline for applying for a scholarship for this event has passed. This class has sold out. Please email [email protected] to be added to our waitlist.