Workshop Details: November 9-10 Indigo Dyeing

Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, 2019

10:00am – 4:00pm both days

In the Dye Studio and surrounds at Tarndie

Instructed by Heather Thomas

indigo lineup

Topic: Natural Indigo Dye – making a vat and dyeing in it

Learn about this ancient blue colour and what makes it different from other botanical dyes. Experience and learn how to make a natural indigo vat, how to maintain it and dye different fibres within it. Together we will make a large natural indigo vat for use at Tarndie farm. Plus, make a small natural indigo vat each to use at the workshop and then and take home.

On Saturday the group will learn about the ingredients of indigo dye and then make a large indigo vat, and personal ones.

On Sunday participants will dye their different fibres in their vat as they learn about the various techniques involved in dyeing, rinsing and finishing fibres.

Tarndie Polwarth yarn (which responds beautifully to the indigo) is provided. We will also use cotton pieces for sampling and practising.

You are welcome to bring a small project idea you have or some of your own natural fibre fabric/yarn to dye. These items could be worked on during the workshop, or Heather will be able to advise you on how to do it at home.

indigo dyed yarn

The group will also have time to talk about Tom’s field trip to Japan meeting with indigo dyers and farmers.

indigo Apple room

indigo pestle

heather talk

indigo vat heather homestead


You will:

  • work with the natural plant materials to grind, pulverise and prepare the plant material
  • have access to big vat to get traditional experience of Japanese masters of the art of dyeing.
  • be supplied with Polwarth Yarn that responds beautifully to this process and comes out incredible deep blue.

You will learn how to:

  • make a natural indigo vat
  • dye wool fibres in a vat
  • create your own project (cotton linen or silk)
  • Treat fibres after dyeing for lasting colour


About Heather

Heather has been working with natural fibres + plant colour for more than two decades and imparts her knowledge and expertise through regular workshops, symposiums and consultations.

With an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Studio Textiles (RMIT 2011), Heather was awarded first place in the Dreamweaver Design Award sponsored by Warwick Fabrics in 2008.

She directs her own business Wild Heather, and says “I have been exploring the plant kingdom and the extraction of colour for many years – dyeing yarns + cloth with fresh foraged leaves + dried extracts of plants. Facilitating workshops + events is the perfect way to share such knowledge”

Find out  more here

tarndie 4ply indigo dyed

Workshop fee includes:

  • Polwarth natural yarn (valued at $37.50)
  • Tuition from Heather of Wild Heather
  • Indigo dye
  • Your own indigo vat to take home
  • Delicious morning tea
  • Tour of historic “Tarndwarncoort” – including outline of plans for the Natural Dye Garden

You will take away:

  • Your own indigo vat in a bucket
  • Dyed yarn
  • A list of helpful links to continue your learning.

Please bring to the workshop:

  • Notebook
  • Apron
  • Lunch to eat in the sunny courtyard or before the fire in the Homestead Dining Room


$265 –  for two days (please note, there is no option for a one day only ticket)

To book into this workshop, please visit the Tarndie Online Woolshop here.

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indigo lineup