This workshop is full and in session.

Details about the next registration can be found here.

Be the first to know about the next offering:

Join the Maiwa Mailing List

Learn to build a range of indigo vats including organic vats made with fruits, the iron vat, and vats made with plants. Learn a wealth of introductory and advanced shaped resist techniques on silk, linen, and cotton. Learn how to handle materials in the dye vat to get the most from indigo.

In this workshop students will be taken, step-by-step, through the process of making a number of indigo vats, including three organic "fruit vats." Students will learn not only how to make a vat but also how to maintain it, revive it, and put it to bed. The different vats will be explored through the use of many forms of shaped resist - including bound, clamp and stitch resist. An astonishing array of patterning is possible through these techniques. Students will learn how to adjust vats for different fibre types and conditions.

  • Over 40 detailed instructional videos.
  • All shaped resist techniques shown with clear, step by step instructions.
  • Works taken from blank cloth to finished peice so you can see the entire process.
  • An in-depth explanation of the chemistry of indigo extraction and indigo vats so you can learn how and why they work.
  • Discover why indigo is the worlds most magical dye.

What do I need for this workshop?

We have prepared a kit especially for this workshop that may be purchased by enrolled students at a discounted kit rate. There are 100 of these kits available for opening day. Students will receive purchase instructions once enrolled (these kits are not available to the public).

Alternatively, students may source their own indigo, fabrics and yarns — either locally or from their favourite supplier. Students who already have a well-stocked studio can fill any gaps by purchasing locally or through

See the Supply List below for full details.

What is the cancellation policy?

Please see our terms of use for our cancellation policy.

See also our Frequently Asked Questions.

Meet Your Instructors


Sophena Kwon 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.


Danielle Bush is the manager of Maiwa Supply. Her career in textiles began with sewing and fashion studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. Upon completing courses in design, drawing, drafting, and construction, she was accepted to do a weeklong practicum in the textile collection at Maiwa Handprints. In her words, “It changed my life.” Since 2011 Danielle has developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa Textile Symposium. In 2009 she represented Maiwa at the International Shibori Conference held in France, and in 2011 she was a facilitator for the Maiwa Natural Dye Master Class taught by Michel Garcia in Bengal, India. Danielle has a deep understanding of and aptitude for dye techniques and the creative process. Together with Sophena Kwon, Danielle travels to India each year where she helps manage the Maiwa studio.

Fruit Vats

Explore the fruit vat in-depth. These vats are a pleasure to make and a joy to use. Truly like cooking up colour.

Henna Vat

Henna is just one of many plants that may be used to make an indigo vat. Antioxidants are the key to these alternative vats.

The Ferrous Vat

In a class of its own, the long lasting ferrous (iron) vat is a powerful choice. Learn what it is used for and how best to put it to work for you.

Bound Resist

From elastic bands to string, this resist technique can be as simple or as complex as your imagination.

Clamp Resist

Incredibly versatile, the geometric possibilities of fold and clamp are unlimited. Variations on fold structure and clamped shapes provide endless variety.

Stitched Resist

A needle and thread give you the precision you need to place your resist exactly where you want it. Textures, also may be created that range from pleating to a beautiful wood grain effect.

What It Is & How It Works

We look at the chemistry of the vat and the extraction of indigo from plants. The mysterious behaviour of indigo is explained in detail.

Vat Maintenance

Learn how to make a vat, balance a vat, wake it up, put it to bed, and after its long life, dispose of it safely.


Learn how to properly scour cloth for dyeing. Understand what specific fibres need to be effectively dyed with indigo and how to finish your work so that your colour is long lasting.