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the Organic Indigo Vat; including resists, indigo discharge and indigo printing w Catharine Ellis

  • Aya Fiber Studio 4745 SE Desoto Ave Studio H STUART United States (map)
The Organic Indigo Vat, Including Resists, Indigo Discharge and Printing with Catharine Ellis
from 475.00

Feb 19-23, 2019


Join us for a magical week with Catharine Ellis building and maintaining an organic indigo vat,learning about resist dyeing, indigo discharge, and printing applications.

Catharine Ellis has been making and using organic indigo vats since 2011, when she first learned about them from Michel Garcia. This is the same vat that he introduced in the DVD, Colors of Provence.

The maintenance of an organic indigo vat is a blend of art and science.  As the user gains familiarity with the process, this becomes more intuitive.  A key part of ensuring acceptable results from the vat is making sure that it stays in strong “reduction” and this can only be accomplished by observing the vat’s color and surface as an indication of it’s health and reacting appropriately when action is required.  Keeping records of the status of the vat and the changes that you make will help in building a “history” that will create comfort and expertise with the organic indigo process.

During this workshop the class will build and maintain 4 different types of Organic Indigo Vats.

Indigo is most commonly used as an immersion dye — but it can also be used for direct printing on cotton fabrics. Permanent shades from pale to deep blue are possible.

In this week-long workshop, students will be led through the process of making an alkaline indigo paste and preparing fabrics for printing and discharge. Students will learn how to print with indigo on cellulose fabrics using silk screens or wooden blocks. With this process, reduction takes place in the textile, resulting in a true indigo dye.

Indigo printing can be combined with other printing techniques to achieve a full palette of color. In addition, indigo printing can discharge other mordant dyes or itself be discharged using a mineral immersion. When treated with reducing 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.  

Materials Fee: TBD

Materials List

For more than forty years Catharine Ellis has been a textile artist, maker, and educator.  Her studio practice typically combines weaving and dyeing to create unique fabrics of woven shibori, an original technique. Catharine is the author of Woven Shibori(Interweave Press, published in 2005).  The book received major revisions and a new edition was released in 2016 that focuses on natural dyes. Along with co-author, Joy Boutrup, she is currently working on a natural dye book, which will be published in 2018.


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Earlier Event: February 11
Digital Fiber Art w Wen Redmond