Fabrics &  Fashion Web Portal
by Carola Jones, Teaching Artist

Welcome to natural dye surface design

From the okanagan 2 new Orleans

Indigo Dyeing as a Connection 2 Place
Material Institute | 2120 Port Street | New Orleans
March 27 to April 11, 2023

SITE/ation: Indigo Dyeing as a Connection 2 Place

This two-week hands-on workshop is a land-based transfer of knowledge using indigenous women's ways of indigo dyeing as medicine.  We will celebrate traditional New Orleans Creole Culture with music, dance, and indigo dyeing.  The workshop is designed as a creative retreat for anyone interested in experiencing indigo blue as more than a pretty color.  We will dive deep into the pot of indigo dye history, and witness transformation.  These skills will be applied to professional development by empowering creatives to become successful entrepreneurs.

 Fabrics & Fashion Overview | What We're Doing & Why?

Welcome to Fabrics & Fashion, a STEAM Textiles Project-Based Learning adventure combining fiber arts, science, math, and engineering using technology.  It combines the science of natural dyeing, WEB 3.0 iCloud technology, engineering design concepts, the art of handmade textiles, and math associated with geometric shapes.  Our goal is to use art elements (line, shape, form, value, space, color, and texture) as a vehicle to make geometry concepts visible while learning to fold, bind, clamp, and hand stitch cloth.

This Web portal is a Project-Based Learning tool for visual literacy.  This project uses the traditional hand embroidery running stitch.  Learners will investigate the three most common indigo vats sugar, henna, and thiox.  We will also have iron and soda ash pre-soak solutions.  Four land-based design concepts will be presented: 1) Centering; 2) Stitchin' & Bindin' Up The Blues (Georgetown, SC Indigenous Geechee Ways of Doing); 3) Witnessing Transformation as Indigo Dye Oxidizes; and 4) Unbinding Freedom.  

Knowledge will be transferred using hands-on guided instruction in an interactive learner-centered space to the whole group, small collaborative groups, and individual learners.  Since we have two groups of fifteen (15) divide yourselves into three (3) groups of five (5).  Each group will create a different indigo vat, and dye individual resist design patterns for the class.  Each instructional lecture and studio production process will be videotaped, and archived on this web portal, on YouTube, and on the Carola Jones, Teaching Artist website (  I am an NC Small Business Consultant working out of my local community college and will provide guidance on being an artist/designer entrepreneur.

Science concepts will be explored as we dye cotton cloth using indigo.  Engineering concepts will be used as we design and construct fashion wearables exploring concepts of identity, community, and place.  We will achieve our goals for this project by using technology, which will conclude with a physical Indigo Dye Sample Book and a YouTube movie documenting your process of creating a runway outfit using indigo blue.   Art and Design will provide the bridge for our exploration using geometry concepts and design thinking protocols.

Learners should bring their own technology devices (Smart Phone, iPad, or tablet) to document their creative hands.  Access to the internet, YouTube (a Google account), and CANVA are required to design and promote your professional brand as a fashion designer.

indigo dyeing is like Learning 2 Fly!

Start with WHY? | Next Ask Yourself "Who Am I?"  Finally, Ask Yourself "What Do I Want 2 Make Today?"

 Expectations | Download Classroom Rules

 (1) We are safe.  Our ultimate goal is for us to learn in a safe, calm environment.  We will use class materials safely, i.e. sewing machines, scissors, and all dye equipment.  Follow safety procedures when participating in indigo dyeing and painting.  No bullying.

(2) We are respectful.  Please use kind words.  Don't use words that shame, judge, or belittle others. Listen to your creative inner voice.  Share with your peers.  Have a respectful tone of voice.  Treat the classroom and creative materials gently.  Respect personal space and people's personal requests.

(3) We follow directions the first time.  Listen and focus on directions for all assignments and hands-on class activities.  Follow safety procedures.  Be responsive to class routines and transitions.

(4) We work hard and try our best.  Be prepared.  Demonstrate your best effort on class projects.  Complete work to the best of your abilities.  A finished project is expected not a perfect one.  Organize your time and your creative workspace.

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