Back to All Events

[SOLD OUT] Kinds of Blue: The Natural Indigo Revival

  • Net Loft Building #6-1666 johnston St Vancouver BC V6H 3S2 Canada (map)

With Charllotte Kwon and Tim McLaughlin

$15 - Doors open at 7:30

Indigo Sutra took place in Kolkata, India, in November 2017. Maiwa participated with the key goal of encouraging artisan dyers to use natural  rather than synthetic indigo and, where possible, to switch to an eco-friendly organic vat.

In this lecture Charllotte and Tim will outline the history of indigo cultivation in India and explain the forces that are working to de-skill artisans who work with this legendary blue dye. They will also tell of Maiwa’s work to turn this around and empower indigo dyers and farmers.

Part travel, part history, part farming, part dyeing, this lecture presents new, exquisitely shot footage of the indigo extraction process as well as indigo growing, harvesting, and final use in the dyeing of yarns and cloth. It is not to be missed by anyone with an interest in indigo, natural dyes, India, or textiles.

This is our anual Threads Lecture. As is customary during this evening, everything in the main Maiwa store will be discounted by 20% with 100% of the sales going directly to the Maiwa Foundation.

Charllotte will also teach a workshop with Sophena Kwon and Tim will teach a workshop. Tim will also give a lecture.

Charllotte Kwon is the owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the director of the Maiwa Foundation. Through Maiwa, Charllotte also runs a textile archive and research library located on Granville Island. Under her direction Maiwa has produced four documentary films and a number of print publications. She also guides Maiwa’s substantial web presence.

Charllotte travels extensively each year to research handcraft and to supplement her natural dye research. Always looking to extend natural dye use, she also teaches dyeing workshops with artisans around the world and has planned a series of natural dye master classes to bring exceptional practising artisans together.


Tim McLaughlin has been interested in natural colour since he began working for Maiwa as a graphic designer in 2002. Together with Charllotte Kwon he has written and co-directed two documentaries on natural dyes: Indigo: A World of Blue and In Search of Lost Colour: The Story of Natural Dyes. Recently he has been rethinking the study of natural dyes in a fine-arts context: how to use natural dyes to make inks, paints, and pigments.

Tim has also worked as a writer, graphic designer, and photographer. His portraits of Banjara women can be found in Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe, published in 2016 by Thames and Hudson and co-authored by Tim with Charllotte Kwon.

His ink-related interests may be found at and @artisan_ink.

Earlier Event: October 26
Soapmaking with Natural Dyes
Later Event: October 29
Mappa: Cartography on Cloth