The Indigo Apron

  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L 3M3 Canada

With Sheila Wong & Sophena Kwon

$195 [Includes $65 lab fee] class limit 12. May 6, 7, 2017 (Sat, Sun 10am-4:30pm).

While it may not be true that the apron makes the artisan, in this workshop it certainly is true that the artisan makes the apron.

Beginning with a sewing class led by Sheila Wong, students will spend the first day creating a linen apron. Consideration is given to the fibre types used in the garment for effective dyeing.  On the second day the class is led by Sophena Kwon, who will instruct students on how to apply shaped-resist patterning techniques to their completed apron. Students will then make an indigo vat and immersion-dye the prepared apron with indigo.

The Indigo Apron is a great opportunity to complete a project-based workshop with two of our most dynamic and energetic instructors.

Students will require a sewing machine for the first day of this workshop. Students should have basic understanding of operating a sewing machine and are encouraged to bring and learn on their own machines. In situations where this is not possible, Maiwa has a limited number of machines that can be reserved prior to the workshop.

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About Sheila Wong & Sophena Kwon

Among the young luminaries of the Vancouver textile scene is Sheila Wong. At the age of 18 she started her first company designing outfits and managing dance performers in her hometown of Calgary. She knew she found her métier the first time she saw an energetic audience reacting to her designs.

After completing a Bachelors of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship degree at Mount Royal University, with a focus on international business, she went on to obtain her Fashion Design Diploma from Vancouver’s own Blanche Macdonald Fashion Design Center. Seeking real-world experience, Sheila took on positions like Studio Assistant at the Fashion Exchange building, Production Manager at clothing retailer Aritzia, and instructing at Blanche Macdonald Fashion Centre and Vancouver Community College in the Fashion Design programs. 

What truly makes Sheila Wong stand out in the industry, however, is her desire to help other artists succeed. Sheila loves collaborating with other designers and artisans, and has this to say to anyone who has ever wanted to see their own name on a piece of clothing: 

“Anyone can design and construct a garment; you just need the right amount of guidance and motivation. My goal is to help inspire people to create beautiful things. If you are passionate and driven, there is no reason why you cannot be creative every day.”


Sophena grew up with Maiwa as the family business. She has learned much from the artisans Maiwa collaborates with (including master dyers in India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico) and from experimenting alongside her mom, Charllotte.

In 2009 Sophena studied with Michel Garcia in France. She has taught natural dye workshops with Charllotte (including at the Penland School of Craft and at Shakerag) since 2012, and developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa School of Textiles since 2014. In an effort to bring natural dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social in 2015. In 2016 Sophena was invited to present at the Mood Indigo Exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.  

In addition to her natural dye work, Sophena is a skilled photographer and clothing designer. Each year she travels to India to direct the Maiwa line of clothing.