October 7th ~ Our Local Indigo Hands-on Workshop from Farm to Fabric

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Photograph by Allison Pedigo
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IMG_2408.JPG
IMG_5591.JPG
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Photograph by Allison Pedigo

October 7th ~ Our Local Indigo Hands-on Workshop from Farm to Fabric

175.00

Saturday October 7
11am to 430pm

Arnold Farms in Eastover & Wavering Place Plantation

Our Local Indigo
Hands-on workshop from farm to fabric
(only 12 spots available)

Indigofera suffruticosa is the botanical name for our local indigo. It refers to a perennial tree or shrub ­with a woody base and herbaceous top of the pea family native to tropical and subtrop­ical regions.

Indigo, best known to Americans as the traditional colorant of blue jeans, has been esteemed and used for centuries throughout the world. One of the most commercially significant indigo sources throughout history has been Indigofera suffruticosa, from the New World Tropics. The plant grows 3 to 6 feet tall, has compound leaves 2 to 3 inches long with many pairs of rounded leaflets. If you tear a leaflet, the cut edges will turn blue. Clusters of tiny coppery pink pea-like flowers are produced in late summer, followed by small curved seedpods. 

In 1744, a young woman in South Carolina, Eliza Lucas Pinckney, became the first person to grow indigo successfully in colonial America, using seeds that her father had sent from the West Indies. Thanks to her formidable efforts, and a thriving slave economy, American growers were exporting more than 1,000,000 pounds of ­indigo to England just before the American Revolution. The advent of cotton as a cash crop after the war ­contributed to the demise of indigo production in the United States. 

Our workshop will start at Arnold Farms in Eastover where a Bolivian farmer is growing a row of 50 plants. We will meet at the farm at 11am to harvest and then go to the wavering Place Plantation where you will, under Caroline Harper’s expertise, create a fresh leaf indigo vat (a two hour process) and dye some fabric.

We will have Dr. Rembert as our speaker this year (distinguished professor Emeritus department of biology, USC) and lunch will be provided. More information to come later.

Please bring your dyer’s clothes or an apron. Gloves, material and fabric will be supplied.

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