Indigo Dyeing 101 — plus a glimpse into Ruth’s workshop

We spent one afternoon learning about dyeing with natural indigo, and the ancient Shibori Japanese technique of creating patterns using various and sundry objects or ways of banding and tying the fabric. Ruth’s passion for working with textiles shone through as she described the process and all the different ways we could try our hand at it. Each of us had bought vintage linens for use in the dyeing plus Ruth had cut yards of fabric with which we could experiment. All it took was one dip to see what surprise would be in store when you unroll or take the clamps off your fabric, and we were hooked. No two pieces are alike in the end. It was kind of like drinking wine, once you got started you just couldn’t stop.

Corey trying her hand at tying fabric to create a design, and trying so hard not to call it “tie dyeing.”
Even Ruth’s French husband Rafael and delightful daughter Charlotte got in on the action and had their hands in the indigo vats.
At Ruth’s house, where she gets to live with shades of indigo every day.

Ruth is a talented designer and creator using vintage textiles, particularly silks and ribbons. Her workshop holds an enormous number of treasures, from vintage silk ribbons that are from a family business to the brocante beauties she has collected. She makes jewelry from various ribbons, lace and metals and incorporates vintage beads, buttons and pieces to make the most intriguing bracelets and necklaces. I was so inspired to try my hand at creating with the pieces I found during my brocante hunt.


This is one of the most beautiful ladies I’ve ever seen on a post card on Ruth’s workshop wall.  Doesn’t this make you want to send une carte postale to someone?  Or better yet, receive one!
Oh yum, yum, yum…..such beautiful old French buckles just waiting on a new life.  Come live with me!


A gorgeous French mermaid!  Tried to buy this from Ruth for my daughter Morgan who adores mermaids, but no deal — and can’t say that I blame her.  Don’t think I could part with her either.
The way Ruth displays her creations is captivating.  They almost talk to you.


You can find Ruth’s creations and her vintage textiles on her Etsy websites.  She ships to the states all the time!




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