Hands-on Workshops from "Farm-to-Fabric" ~ Our Local Indigo

Hands-on Workshops from "Farm-to-Fabric" ~ Our Local Indigo


Edisto SC - August 31st, 2019
Green Pond SC - September 7th, 2019
Newberry SC - September 14th, 2019
Bluffton SC - October 6th, 2019
Bluffton SC - October 7th, 2019
Durham NC - October 12th, 2019


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 of South America.

Indigo has been esteemed and used for thousands of years in its natural form throughout the world. Indigofera suffruticosa as been one of the most commercially-significant sources of indigo dye in history. The plant grows 4 to 6 feet tall, with 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. 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 ­and the loss of the British import demand contributed to the demise of indigo production in the United States. 


  • all material necessary to make the dye from the plant + gloves will be provided

  • a large cotton dish towel will be provided for you to dye, and you may also bring ONE piece of cotton or silk to dye (small to medium in size) which needs to be scoured before https://botanicalcolors.com/how-to-scour/

  • you will receive educational materials + a beautiful 8.5x11 printed botanical illustration of our local indigo plant to frame

  • lunch will be provided (please let us know of any allergies) + refreshments + snacks


  • your own hand pruners

  • an old shirt or apron – and please wear old comfortable clothes

  • closed-toe shoes

  • bug repellent if the weather is hot and humid

  • a hat


Our workshop will start on the farm. After harvesting the top half of the plant, we will go back to the studio and prepare the leaves for the extraction of the dye (a 2 hour process). A farm lunch will be served. We will have a presentation on the topic of "the old indigo and its revival". We will prepare our cotton towels and dye them in the beautiful "blue of the heavens".

Workshop starts at 11am and finishes at around 430pm with a break during the day for lunch, presentation and art. More information will be provided closer to time.

  • Workshop Cost: $150.00 pp

 Limit 12 students
* If you prefer to pay in two installments, email at chidesignindigo@gmail.com *
** This workshop is non refundable. If, for medical reasons only, you must cancel, CHI design indigo will refund 75%  **

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