On Saturday, June 1st, from 3 PM to 5 PM, join us for a free Indigo Dyeing Workshop facilitated by one of our current Main Space artists: Michaela Bridgemohan! This workshop is appropriate for all skill levels and all ages, and no art experience is required. 

Ahead of the workshop, participants must pick up a DIY kit containing the instructions and materials to prepare two organic cotton bandanas using shibori techniques at home (approx 1 - 5 hours). On Saturday, June 1st, Michaela will guide participants through the historical and culturally informed practice of indigo dyeing. Participants will learn how to prepare an organic indigo vat and the process of dyeing the bandanas. 

Participants will leave with introductory knowledge of shibori resist-dyeing and the ability to prepare an organic Indigo vat at home.

Weather permitting, the workshop will take place outside. Please dress appropriately, and remember that indigo can be very messy! Wear clothes you don't mind staining. Aprons and gloves will be available for anyone who needs them.

What the at-home shibori kits (to be picked up from the gallery) will include:

  • Sewing needle
  • Twine/thread
  • 2 organic cotton bandanas
  • Chopsticks 
  • Instructions on how to prepare your shibori pattern

What this workshop will cover:

  • Agricultural processes and culturally informed practices for indigo dyeing
  • Preparation of indigo vats
  • Dyeing natural fabrics with indigo

  • This workshop will not include in-person guidance through the process of preparing shibori patterns prior to dyeing. If you have questions about how to prepare your bandanas for dyeing, please reach out to the gallery at with the subject line “Indigo Workshop”.

What is indigo?

Indigo is a widely used natural dye made from the indigo plant, which is native to many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The plant has a long history of being used to create a variety of textiles and can produce shades of blue ranging from turquoise to midnight. Indigo is combined with other substances to alter and enrich its tone and to help the dye adhere to the fabric. In Japan, indigo dye is often traditionally used with a family of resist dyeing techniques referred to as “shibori” to create patterns in cloth used for purposes from clothing to decoration.

What is shibori?

Shibori is a Japanese word which means “to wring”, “to squeeze” or “to press”. The term refers to a number of traditional Japanese methods for creating patterns in dyed fabric. Shibori is a resist method of dyeing. This means the technique creates protected areas of fabric that are not exposed to dye, which create contrasting patterns against the dyed portions of fabric. Shibori includes many different techniques of resist dyeing, but this workshop will rely specifically on stitched shibori techniques. This means patterns will be created by stitching designs through the fabric and pulling the threads very tight to make pockets of cloth that will not be exposed to dye when the bandana is submerged in the indigo vat. Patterns can also be created by wrapping the thread very tightly around areas of fabric to create other types of patterns. This works by the thread covering an area of fabric and blocking the dye from entering the fabric underneath the thread, creating a white or light blue pattern on the darker blue indigo background.

What colour can I expect my bandanas to be?

When you submerge your bandana into the indigo vat, it will be saturated with indigo dye. This dye will appear lime green when you remove your bandana from the indigo, and as it oxidizes (is exposed to and reacts with the oxygen in the air), it will change from green to one of a number of shades of blue. The shade of blue varies depending on the type of indigo used, how the vat is prepared, and how much your material is exposed to the dye. Natural indigo dye can range from a light, greenish-blue like turquoise to deep navy blue. 

TRUCK Contemporary Art
2009 10 Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
T3C 0K4
Open Hours
Thurs - Sat 11AM - 6PM
Sun - Wed: Closed
Holidays: Closed


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