Indigo: Past, Present, and Future
with Craig Wilkinson and Rebecca Burgess
Thursday, May 28, 5:00-7:00PM
Grange at SHED, 25 North Street, Healdsburg
Japanese indigo (also known as Polygonum tinctorium and Persicaria tinctoria) has been cultivated for thousands of years. The leaves are used to make the natural indigo blue dye. When a synthetic formula was invented 100 years ago that replicated its distinctive blue pigment, the commercial indigo industry ended in the United States.
Sonoma County’s local Fibershed has been growing Japanese Indigo since 2011 and evaluating the potential for a sustainable regional market for this naturally grown dye plant. Learn first-hand from the people who are bringing back Japanese indigo to Sonoma County in this discussion about the history, culture, cultivation and processing of the unique plant. Indigo seed and seedlings will be available, as well as examples of fibers and textiles dyed from locally grown indigo.
Craig Wilkinson has been a student of biodynamic agriculture since 1998 and is currently in his second year growing fiber and dye plants using biodynamic farming practices. He is planting over 5000 indigo plants this year and creating a demonstration fiber & dye garden at DaVero Winery & Farms in Healdsburg, California.
Rebecca Burgess is an educator, writer, and natural dye farmer. Her recent book, Harvesting Color, shows how to make beautiful natural dyes from plants found in the wild or in your own backyard.