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White on Blue: Organic Indigo and Resist Printing

Indigo printing
Indigo printing
Starfish design by student Lindsey Alvorez
Indigo printing
Leaf design by student Patti Lentz

Course Overview

Discover the ancient magic of the organic indigo vat, where blue pigment lies waiting in yellow liquid, turning fabric green and then blue in the air! Indigo is one of the best-known and longest-lasting natural dyes, discovered independently by cultures around the world. We'll set up a vat using all natural ingredients, and then learn to cut stencils and make small screens, which we'll use to screen-print resist pastes (they resist the indigo dye) for a wide variety of white-on-blue designs. Students will leave this course with all the skills needed to prepare fabrics, make an indigo vat, and continue creating new stencils and designs to their heart's content. Take this course on its own, or with combine it with Renegade Screen Printing to add the rest of the color wheel (red, yellow, and brown) and use the same screens to print dyes in vibrant natural colors.

Working with natural dyes is a great way to reclaim a sense of place and individuality in our clothing and textiles, as well as a more sustainable craft practice. You'll be able to use the tools and processes from this course almost anywhere as you continue your own explorations of natural color!


Wed, Aug 28th, 2019  –  Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Course Details

Length: 2 Days
Skill Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Hours: 9am-5pm
Intergenerational age: 15+
Registration Cost: $235.00
Includes materials fee of $65.00

Required Tools

You will need the following tools for this class:

  • Comfortable clothes and shoes which you don't mind getting dye on, and/or an apron
  • Rubber gloves
  • An old plain terry cloth bath towel (bring two if you have room when packing)
  • A few light-colored, small- to medium-sized fabric items to dye and print on as time permits, such as: scarves or bandanas, pillowcases, dishtowels, T-shirts, or smaller cuts of fabric for later projects. These can be made of either cellulose fiber (cotton/linen/hemp etc.) or protein fiber (silk/wool/alpaca etc.), but must be all natural fiber, and should not include any synthetic fiber content. New and used/thrifted items both work well. Things you feel free to play and experiment with are the best.

All other required tools/materials are provided by your instructor and North House and will be available once the course begins.

Optional Tools

Between now and class time, look around for designs and patterns that you see and like, whether they are printed patterns or images from nature and everyday life. Keep a physical or digital record of these, and bring it with you for design inspiration. If you aren't comfortable drawing, bring a few images printed full size, to trace. (If you don't have designs prepared, don't worry, the landscape around the North House campus is also a great source of ideas.)

More Information

Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.