Online 3-Day Indigo Workshop with Aboubakar Fofana 2021


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Our online 3-Day Indigo Class with Aboubakar Fofana is a wonderful opportunity to learn indigo from this extraordinary visionary artist.  All sessions are conducted over Zoom videoconferencing and are 3 days, 3 hours per session.

July 15,16, 17, 2021 (Thursday-Saturday)

The 3-Day Indigo Class from 8AM Pacific to 11AM Pacific with Aboubakar Fofana focuses on powdered indigo and setting up a fructose vat. He will teach you to use environmentally (and skin!) friendly techniques. Unlike fermented, pounded indigo leaves, powdered indigo is quite easy to source. The fructose vat is also relatively straightforward to put together and to use. This workshop will explain the unique chemistry of indigo and principles of setting up and caring for a fructose vat.

Over three days, Aboubakar shows participants how to prepare powdered indigo and how to set up the dye vat, which each person will create at home. They will then dye a set of color gradation samples with Aboubakar’s assistance.  We will also experiment with the traditional Malian woven stripcloth, finimugu. If there is time, students will work on a larger individual project. Participants will come away with enough knowledge to maintain their vats and start working with indigo. In addition, they will have a deeper understanding of how indigo works. They will learn how to achieve the best color-fast, light-fast and even results with this ancient and singular dye-stuff.

Important information

The class timing is due to the fact that Aboubakar will teach either from France or Mali and this will accommodate his time zone.

We are now welcoming students from Europe and beyond and will ship materials to you where feasible. If it is not possible to send you materials, you may still participate if you can procure the ingredients locally. Please contact [email protected] for details.

The workshop is open to all skill levels. We will provide sample fabrics for dipping, indigo and vat ingredients. Students will receive indigo and auxiliaries shipped to them prior to the class session.  There is also a supply list of additional equipment required to create your own vat. Students will work on indigo dipping techniques:  how to dip, how to achieve a light to dark color range, how to prepare and finish fabrics and special notes on using yarn or longer lengths of fabric. Please note that this workshop is not intended for extended, large-scale indigo dipping, but is an inquiry into the techniques and practice of indigo from the unique perspective of an artist. Aboubakar will also share his experiences as an indigo farmer and his production workshop in Mali.

The workshop includes

  • Three days online intensive study with Aboubakar on indigo dyeing, 3 hours per session
  • The workshop includes a class moderator/Teaching Assistant
  • Indigo, auxiliaries and sample fabrics provided and shipped to participants.
  • Aboubakar will present videos and stories of his indigo atelier, farm and projects
  • Aboubakar will demonstrate techniques and answer questions during the Zoom session.

A complete materials list will be sent to you upon registration and includes the following:

  • Spatula
  • Long Handled Stirring Spoon
  • Gloves
  • Mortar and Pestle (heavy 5-7 inch/13-18 centimeters) – this is important to have
  • Kitchen Scale that weighs in grams
  • Paper towels
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Access to boiling hot water.  You will need a little over 4 gallons or 17 liters
  • Measuring cups and spoons and a pitcher that can hold about a quart/liter of water
  • Containers for mixing indigo, fructose and calcium hydroxide separately with water – approx. 1-2 quarts/liters each. These can be plastic containers or non-reactive metal.
  • Thermometer
  • 2 clean 5 gallon (20 liter) buckets with lids
  • A small container or jar with lid for mixing


All sales are final. This workshop is non-cancellable and non-refundable. We are not able to accommodate schedule changes.

Installment payments

Installment payments are available.  Please contact [email protected] for information.


We will provide limited partial scholarships for this class, with the intention of increasing diversity to traditionally marginalized artists.  Please fill out this scholarship application form if you would like to be considered. We will award the scholarships by May 1, so it is important to submit your application early. We will keep your application for consideration for future workshops.

Botanical Colors reserves the right to cancel classes in the unlikely event of circumstances beyond our control. So if a class is cancelled, Botanical Colors’ responsibility and liability are limited to a refund of class fees.  In addition, we will refund your registration fees within 30 days of cancellation.

Additional information

Weight 1500 g
Dimensions 8 × 10 × 4 in
Choose a Session

July 15, 16, 17, July 8,9,10


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