Clay-Resist Indigo Dyeing

Using our "Pratt Vat", we held a workshop where participants hand-painted clay paste onto fabric and dipped in the indigo vat. The indigo vat we used was made using henna and produced beautiful blues.

We made a clay-resist paste using bentonite clay, epsom salt, and gum arabic powder. The consistency should be similar to liquid glue or tempera paint.

Begin by painting onto fabric, and allow clay to dry completely. The fabric will pucker as the clay dries.

When the clay has completely dried, gently submerge the fabric in the indigo vat.

Dip the fabric for about 5-10 minutes, and the strength of the vat will determine the depth of color. When you pull the fabric out and if the clay is still mostly intact, you can re-dip for more color intensity.

Rinse off the clay, and you are left with your design embedded in a lighter shade of indigo!