Video From LIVE FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Indigo with Maryland Institute College of Art

This week, we’ve got video from our live FEEDBACK FRIDAY featuring the Indigo Shade Map with the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative.

Watch the video here:

The Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative brings together multiple agencies, including the Maryland Institute College of Art, as well as artists and designers to explore the cultural and economic impacts of growing, processing and using natural dyes in the greater Baltimore region. As part one in a 3-part series, we took a look at a newly created Indigo Shade Map, an evolving online, interactive site that maps the locations, histories, and cultures of indigo plants, developed by Rosa Chang and a group of MICA students.

Here are some resources the team shared:

From Rosa:

Rosa’s Indigo Shade Map

Anyone (indigo farmer, dyer, and natural dye related business) can reach Rosa at [email protected] to be added for the directory/resource page.

Farming While Black-Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, by Leah Penniman

Indigo The Color that Changed the World, by Catherine Legrand

Indigo, by Jenny Balfour-Paul

A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers, by Rita Buchanan

Herbal Emissaries, Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West, by Steven Foster and Yue Chongxi

Find Rosa at @indigosketchbook and @rosafulgarden on Instagram

From Valeska:

Culture of Indigo in Asia: Plant Product Power edited by Kapila Vatsayan, is a collection of essays written by scholars from the Asian continent and particularly Indian sub-continent looking at the social and cultural dimensions of Indigo and its usage across the Asian societies.

Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800, by Amelia Peck and other contributors. Valeska says specifically the chapter “Global Colors: Dyes and the Dye Trade.”

Red, White, and Black Make Blue: Indigo in the Fabric of Colonial South Carolina Life, by Andrea Feeser

The Art and Science of Natural Dyes: Principles, Experiments, and Results, by Joy Boutrup and Catharine Ellis

Natural Dyes: Sources Traditions, Technologies and Science, by Dominique Cardon

Storytelling through Adire: An Introduction to Adire Making with Meaning of Patterns, by Allyson Davies

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Production of Indigo Dye from Plants, by Nicholas Denner for Fibershed

Shop all our indigo here.


Join us next week, May 29th, 9am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern for a live Zoom FEEDBACK FRIDAY with natural dyer and artist Cara Marie Piazza. Cara will take us through her process foraging for and utilizing flower and food waste in Brooklyn. We also just opened registration for an online class with Cara taking place June 6th that you won’t want to miss.

During this FEEDBACK FRIDAY, we will also discuss transforming avocado pits and peels, edible flowers, onion skins, nut shells, and other dye stuffs into dyes. We’ll also talk about how to set up your own home dye kitchen, create a hot extraction bath and turn seemingly discardable parts of your food into liquid gold. Not to be overlooked will be the process of mordanting, making your fabric ready to take the dyes, changing the color of your dye bath with household ingredients and more.