Supply List: The Organic Indigo Vat, Including Resists, Indigo Discharge, and Printing

Catharine Ellis at Aya Studio February 2019

Class Description This is a week of building and maintaining organic indigo vats, learning about resist dyeing, indigo discharge, printing applications, and the intersection of indigo and mordant dyeing. During this workshop the class will build and maintain several different types of organic indigo vats. We will do immersion dyeing, with and without the use of resist pastes. Permanent shades from pale to deep blue are possible. The class will use two different approaches to printing with indigo. Both of these approaches have historical precedence. Reduction of the indigo takes place in the textile, resulting in a true indigo dye. In addition, we will explore the topic of discharge. Alkaline indigo paste can be used to discharge mordants, AND indigo dye can be discharged using minerals. When reduced with sugars, distinct mineral brown colors will result. Shibori and paste resist will be used to create fabrics of blue/white and blue/brown combinations.

The class will complete many tests and experiments with the goal of developing a body of knowledge that students can ultimately apply to their own personal work. Each student will assemble a notebook of samples and reference materials. We will be working small, as we have much information to cover

Students, please bring:

• 3-4 yards of cotton fabric (scoured/cleaned and ready for dyeing). We will be cutting this up into small pieces for experiments that will fit in your notebook. Other cellulose such as linen, Tencel, is OK too.

• 3-ring binder

• Double stick tape

• black fine-point sharpie or other indelible marker • Small silk screens and squeegee for application of indigo print paste. If you do not currently own small screens, I would suggest ordering one or two thermofax screens from Jane Dunnewold. She carries many interesting patterns and ships very quickly. She also carries small squeegees. •

• Brushes for direct application of print pastes, and resists. Some of our print pastes are very alkaline and can ONLY be used with synthetic brushes. Stiff brushes work best for textile applications.

• Stencils for application of resist pastes. You can cut these from paper, or from plastic stencil material. They work beautifully when combined with a small blank silk screen such as the basic speedball 10” x 14” frame. You will need a squeegee if using a silk screen.

• Printing blocks, if you have them

• Some simple shibori tools (thread, needles, clamps, etc.)

• Rubber gloves for indigo dyeing

• Disposable rubber gloves for finer work, such as printing with the alkaline paste

• An apron

• Scissors

• An old towel