Are You Ready To Dye Some Fabric or Yarn? Basic Materials You’ll Need For Indigo Dyeing

You’ve made the decision to dye fabric. If you’re blessed like I am to live in a place where you can dye year round, then let’s get started. I’m back in my home studio after teaching in Calgary, Canada and New Orleans. Unless you have a garage or shed, you will need to dye outside. My dye studio is under my carport. In my previous home studio dyeing was split between a small back porch and the back of my pickup truck. I dyed on the porch and took the bundles apart on my truck’s tailgate. Resist the urge to dye in your kitchen. Food preparation and natural dyeing have a lot in common but they can’t be done in the same space.

Equipment You’ll Need:

  • Two stainless steel pots. One for wetting out and one for indigo dyeing.
  • Two electric hot plates and a surface to place them on.
  • A large stainless steel spoon for stirring and a large wooden paint stick.
  • Outdoor clothesline and/or clothes drying rack.
  • Measuring cups.
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Heavy mil plastic to cover surface when opening bundles
  • Dust mask
  • Rubber gloves


I use plant based indigo. I order a finely ground indigo powder from Maiwa in Canada. It’s sold in the size listed below:

Maiwa also has PDF recipe and instructional sheets.  The first document is an instructional guide for indigo and woad.  The second document explains how to make an organic indigo vat.  Both documents have recipes that you can use to make your vat.  I’ve used all of the recipes, and recommend you select the one of your choice.

Dye Auxiliaries

For all my dye supplies, I order from Pro Chemical & Dye

Published by Carola Jones, Artist

Indigenous Artist, Writer, Designer | Internet Techie | Pow Wow Dancer | Lover of Dyeing Cloth Especially With Indigo, Madder & Marigold | 4th Generation Hand Embroidery & Sewing Enthusiastic | Working Traveler | NC Toisnot & Mattamuskeet Tuscarora & FL Seminole | Algonquin Gullah Mixed Blood

2 thoughts on “Are You Ready To Dye Some Fabric or Yarn? Basic Materials You’ll Need For Indigo Dyeing

  1. Greetings Carola!
    Thanks so much for sharing your information! I’m a visual learner and would like to know if you provide opportunities at your studio for Master Workshops, or Apprenticeship?
    Thanks, Mary Young


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