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Indigo Printing & Discharge

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

With Catharine Ellis & Joy Boutrup

$295 [Includes $75 lab fee] class limit 16. Sep 15-16 (Sat-Sun) 10am-4pm.

Indigo is most commonly used as an immersion dye — but it can also be used for direct printing on cotton fabrics. Permanent shades from pale to deep blue are possible.

In this two-day workshop students will be led through the process of making an alkaline indigo paste and preparing fabrics for printing and discharge. Students will learn how to print with indigo on cellulose fabrics using silk screens or wooden blocks. With this process, reduction takes place in the textile, resulting in a true indigo dye.

Indigo printing can be combined with other printing techniques to achieve a full palette of colour. In addition, indigo printing can discharge other mordant dyes or itself be discharged using a mineral immersion. When treated with reducing sugars, distinct mineral brown colours will result. Shibori and paste resists will be used to create fabrics of blue/white and blue/brown combinations.

Catharine joins us from North Carolina, USA.

Joy joins us from Denmark .

Supply List PDF

Catherine Ellis is a textile artist and educator. She developed the process of woven shibori in which special threads are added during weaving and then manipulated to create resist patterns during dyeing. Catharine directed the Professional Craft Fiber Program at Haywood Community College for 30 years and has now focused her explorations on the use of natural dyes. She teaches and exhibits internationally and is active in the Textile Society of American and Surface Design Association. Catharine is the author of Woven Shibori (Interweave Press, 2005 and 2016). She lives in the mountains of North Carolina.


Joy Boutroup has a background in textile engineering, specializing in textile chemistry. Her main strength is the ability to analyze structures, develop new methods and techniques, and solve problems in connection with the practical realization of ideas in textile art and conservation. Joy’s unique ability to teach in an accessible manner and to convey the deeper structures of fibres and dyes has had a profound influence on textile designers and artists. Joy has taught at design schools in Denmark and at the School of Conservation in Copenhagen. She lives in Sorø, Denmark.

Later Event: September 19
Making Waves in Woven Cloth