Unwrapping an arashi shibori piece

Gone Woading

This past May, Botanical Colors was honored to host woad master Denise Lambert of Bleu de Lectoure for a weekend of woad dipping using the ancient blue dye of Europe that she and her husband revitalized in France.  She brought her charming assistant, Sophie Boss and they worked their woad magic in Seattle. We started our woad adventure in my studio, measuring, stirring and a bit of praying.  Seventeen mother vats for Saturday and 15 for Sunday.

Sophie stirring the woad

Once the vats were mixed, we left them overnight to rest.


What a time it was woading!  We started early in the morning and could hardly stop dipping.  Each time the fabric took a breath in the air, the colors bloomed.

Denise Lambert regaled us with the history of woad and how the fussy vats were kept alive with contributions from the male customers of nearby taverns.  Fortunately, we were able to keep our vats happy in a more modern, but less descriptive manner!

Although I was a bit timid in the beginning, carefully pulling on my gloves and respectfully lowering the fibers into the vat, within a few minutes the gloves were off and I was armpit deep into the vat, fishing out wayward pieces for the other students.

We are eagerly anticipating Denise’s return in May of 2013 and invite you to join us in the fun.

One Response to “Gone Woading”

  1. What lovely colours! I just started woad this summer (had severe battles with mice and drought) and can’t stop admiring the woad blue.