Thursday, May 7, 2015

Workshop 1 – Indigo Dyeing Workshop 22nd - 24th May 

Indigo is one of the oldest and most magical of all the natural dyes.  It is the colour of the sky and the sea, and in many cultures indigo-dyed cloth was considered sacred and precious. As we become more and more conscious of what we wear and where it comes from, plant-based, non-chemical indigo dye is experiencing resurgence. This dyestuff is Aboubakar Fofana's particular passion, and he has a vast store of knowledge on its provenance, usage, and of course, practical applications.

This workshop focuses on powdered indigo and setting up a fructose vat using entirely non-chemical and environmentally (and skin!) friendly techniques.  Unlike indigo leaves, powdered indigo is quite easy to source, and the fructose vat is also relatively straightforward to put together and to use.  This workshop will explain the unique chemistry of indigo, principles of setting up and caring for a fructose vat, as well as choice and preparation of the textile to be dyed. Over three days, participants will be shown how to prepare powdered indigo and how to set up the dye-vat, dye a set of samples, and work on a larger project with Aboubakar's assistance.
This workshop will also include an introduction to simple shibori and resist-patterning techniques which are suitable for use with indigo.  Participants will come away with enough knowledge to set up their own vats and start working with indigo, as well as a deeper understanding of how indigo works and how to achieve the best colour-fast, light-fast and even  results with this ancient and singular dye-stuff.

All sample materials and dye-stuffs will be included in the cost, but participants will need to bring their own small project to work on.  Details will be sent out – however Aboubakar will have some hand spun and hand-woven organic Malian cotton available for purchase, and we are also hoping to make small quantities of suitable shawl-lengths available for participants.

*Please note:  fructose indigo is not the same as fermented vegetable indigo.  The fermented process is much longer and very much more difficult, and it requires constant heat and attention.  It's not really a suitable technique for anywhere where the temperature drops below 30 degrees.  We will be running fermented vegetable indigo workshops in Byron Bay and/or the Brisbane area during the 2015-16 summer – please email to go on the mailing list if you are not already.

These workshops will take place at the studio of textile artist Jude Craig – in Upwey at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges.

This workshop costs $550. 
To book a place, please contact

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