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Indigo Fabric Dyeing

Learn to dye with natural indigo, one of the oldest dyes used for fabrics!

Sunday, Jan, 9th, 2022
2:00 - 5:00 PM

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Event description

Learn to dye with natural indigo, one of the oldest dyes used for fabrics!

Special Topic this month: To be determined

Indigo has been used to dye fabrics for at least 6000 years in civilizations all over the world. Indigo is derived from several species of plants and is non-toxic, colorfast, and sustainable. A single vat of indigo dye can be maintained for years and reused, simply adding new indigo and reducing agents as needed. Port City Makerspace maintains a shared indigo dye vat for use by members as well as other related equipment.

We offer a workshop approximately once per month (usually on the 2nd Sunday at 2pm) to provide an orientation to new dyers and to explore topics in indigo dying. Attendees learn how to check the dye vat, adjust ingredients as needed, and the basics of dyeing with indigo.

Each workshop also includes a session exploring a new topic. Topics are chosen based on input the previous month by workshop attendees and our Slack community. Previous topics have included Shibori-style pleating and binding, constructing dyed silk face masks, and wax-resist (batik). Future topics may include yarn dyeing, designing quilting coordinates, reverse dyeing with color remover, over-dyeing with other dye types, and other topics suggested by participants.

The cost of the workshop covers dye ingredients and materials for simple projects covered in the monthly topic and purchase of equipment for the Soft Craft space, with a nominal fee for the instructor’s time. Workshop participants are also welcome to bring their own dyeing projects (one or two natural-fiber garments or equivalent weight).

Reference: Indigo/Shibori dye reference: https://www.dharmatrading.com/information/shibori-diy.html

See Wiki for additional references per topic:


Attendees should bring:

  • Appropriate clothing for dyeing (old clothes), hand protection, face/eye protection recommended.
  • One pre-washed natural fiber item to dye (cotton, wool, silk, linen, etc.)
  • Note: Synthetic fibers will not take indigo dye.
  • Wear old clothes (including shoes).

Gloves and face coverings will be provided.

A small assortment of dyeable items will be available for purchase. If you are allergic to latex, please bring your own gloves.

Kids and families welcome, open to all ages (under 18 must be accompanied by parent/guardian)

Instructor: Elizabeth Dalton

Elizabeth Dalton is a local crafter with experience in fiber arts including dyeing, sewing, weaving, and crochet, as well as jewelry making and multimedia making and mending. She learned traditional Japanese indigo dyeing in Kyoto, Japan. When not dyeing fabric or making face masks to give away, she works for an educational technology company as a research analyst.

Attendees who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to wear a mask and social distance.

If you are sick or think you may have been exposed recently, please don’t come!

This class needs a minimum of 1 attendee to run

Registration closes 3 days before event.

Attendees can receive refunds up to 7 days before your event start date.

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