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INDIGO: Persicaria Tinctoria, Dried Leaves, Fresh Leaves, and Compost (sukumo)with Michel Garcia 2-Day Workshop (Saturday 2)

September 18, 2021 @ 09:00 - 12:00

This workshop is for those who love Persicaria tinctoria and for many who grow them. Michel will explore this indigo plant demonstrating a rare method using dried leaves of persicaria to start a dye vat. In addition, he will cover how to obtain indigo pigment/dye from fresh persicaria leaves by water extraction method, and how to make a dye vat with a quick method using the compost form (sukumo) of this plant. 

Persicaria tincoria*, previously Polygonum tinctoria is commonly, erroneously called Japanese indigo. It was already in use in the Western Zhou period (1045 – 771 BC) in China and was the most important blue dye in East Asia until the arrival of Indigofera from the south. It is uncertain when the plant reached the Japanese archipelago. There are other indigo plants found growing and being used for blue dye in Japan including strobilanthes cusia in Okinawa. Strobilanthes is grown in moist wooded places, sometimes cultivated; 100-2000 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hunan, Sichuan, Taiwan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.

The workshop will take place on two Saturdays, 3 hours each on 11 and 18 September 2021 with a week in between to experiment with your own indigo, persicaria tinctoria, or strobilanthes cusia. For those who wish to follow Michel in your home studio, you must have 1kg of your own dried leaves of persicaria or strobilanthes.  Please source them yourself. Many enthusiasts grow persicaria and have a stash of dried leaves. If fresh persicaria is not available, Michel will cover the process utilizing fresh woad as well.

Saturdays,  11 & 18 September, 2021 | 9:00 – 12:00 PST/ 18:00 – 21:00 France
ZOOM Webinar | Slow Fiber Studios ANNEX | 1825 8th St. Berkeley, CA

Our international workshops are taught virtually and will be streamed through Zoom webinar. A small group of fully vaccinated participants will be welcomed at the SFS Annex in Berkeley with indigo vats for their use. You can bring your own laptop, and the Annex will have a large monitor as well as a staff with a camera capturing participants/ work to show to the instructor.

The workshop cost is $350. The materials (except indigo) you will need are detailed in the Student’s Prep & Info Sheet, which you will receive when registered for the course.

Recordings from both sessions, all documents and PowerPoint presentations will be shared with the class for review and to accommodate students in different time zones. During the week of the two sessions, you will be given assignments and may use an online Google Form to ask questions, which will be answered and added to a Q&A document that will be shared with all students.

Also, you will be invited to a PRIVATE Facebook group “SFS Indigo & Shibori Workshop” to share images of your work and exchange comments.

For more information contact staff@yoshikowada.com


Michel Garcia is a world-renowned botanist, chemist, naturalist, and natural dye expert now relocated his studio in Brittany, France. He is the founder of Couleur Garance (1998) in Lauris, France, and established Le Jardin Conservatoire de Plantes Tinctoriales (Botanical Garden of Dye Plants) in 2000 as a horticultural resource for chemists, natural dye researchers, and botanists. He has been instrumental in revitalizing the natural dye practice in France and abroad. He and Yoshiko  have produced a series of instructional film “Natural Dye Workshop with Sustainable Methods.”


September 18, 2021
09:00 - 12:00