Indigo Dyeing Workshops

Japanese Indigo Plants

Martha has been experimenting with growing Japanese indigo (Polygonum tinctorium) at Orchard Hill Farm and using it for fresh leaf dyeing for a number of years. After stepping back from managing the Orchard Hill Farm CSA Garden she has  enjoyed having more time to pursue her passion for natural dyes. Indigo is special because of its unique blue colour and  long history as a natural dye for many cultures. Although there are various plants that contain the pigment called indigo, Japanese indigo is the most potent of the lot.  We are inviting interested people to come for the day and play with Martha. During the workshop we will harvest the leaves of the Japanese indigo grown on the farm, extract the dye from the leaves and use it right away to dye some wool. The process of extracting the dye involves turning the dark fluid that comes from heating the leaves called ” indoxyl” into indigo by making the solution alkaline and then adding oxygen to it from the air. After that,  a reducing agent is used to remove the oxygen from the fluid. The vat is then ready for dyeing. Careful attention must also be given to the temperature of the fluid throughout  process. Martha will explain, demonstrate and give the opportunity for a fun hands on experience through it all. Participants will go home with 100 grams of indigo dyed yarn to use for their own projects. The workshop also includes a lunch featuring  fresh produce grown on the farm.

Indigo Dyeing Workshops are being offered at the farm:
Saturday, September  7, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. WORKSHOP IS FULL
Saturday, September 14, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  WORKSHOP IS FULL
The cost is $113.00 ( Includes HST)

A big thank you to all the participants who registarted!

Picking Indigo

Fresh Indigo Dye Pot

Squeezing out the Leaves

Indigo Dye Pot

Wool Dyed with Japanese Indigo


Ken Cultivating test row of Japanese Indigo in the field with Suffolk Horses

Wool hat knitted with natural dyed yarn from the bottom up: indigo, onion skin over dyed with indigo, onion skin, yellow bedstraw root, madder root, indigo, purple basil, madder root over dyed with indigo, repeat.

Indigo Dyed Yarn On Indigo Leaves
Indigo in Bloom