Last evening I joined an evening Indigo workshop in Bristol run by Flora of The Natural Dye Garden.IMG_20160809_205119684

In the various natural dyeing books I have read and blog spots around the interweb, indigo dyeing has also seemed to have a little aura of mystery and magic and above all be a rather complex thing to do. However looking at all the fab results especially different shibori patterns, it has been something I’ve wanted to try.

So a trip to Bristol on a beautiful August evening….

Flora uses the 123 Indigo Vat method developed by Michel Garcia and to be honest it seems fairly straight forward! Having said that watching someone doing it is not the same as doing it yourself so we shall see when I’ve had a go myself.

It’s called 123 because of the proportions of the ingredients:

1 part indigo powder

2 parts slaked lime (calcium hydroxide)

3 parts fructose.

So for example

10g indigo

20g lime

30g fructose

The vat we made together was only ready towards the end of the workshop, but fortunately Flora had 2 vats ready prepared and we were able to get straight into folding and dyeing our fabrics. The four of us students had all taken a mixture of natural fabrics – linen, silk, cotton – and it was really interesting to see how they each took the dye.

Using Flora’s selection of clamps and wooden shapes, we were able to produce some amazing designs for our first efforts which is always really rewarding.

You can just see the indigo ‘flower’ on top of this vat… and the long thin fabric is silk



on cotton drill


Right off to order some supplies…



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