Natural and Indigo Dye Workshops with Rosa Sung Ji Chang

Olivia Robinson (2020)

In the fall of 2020, Olivia Robinson facilitated three exceptional experiences of indigo and natural dyeing for the IDeATe’s Introduction to Textile Media in the Fall of 2020, led by visiting artist Rosa Sung Ji Chang. Rosa Sung Ji Chang gave a generous and thorough presentation about her work learning and using Korean indigo dyeing methods and her experiences creating a natural dye garden with Blue Light Junction, facilitated by visiting artist Kenya Miles). The participants learned about the process of working with Indigo from growing the indigo to creating dye from the plant to working with the indigo dye vat. As part of this participatory event, they also learned Korea’s long history of indigo dye technique, broadly unknown to the world and even to most Koreans. Globally and within Korea, the Korean indigo techniques have been overshadowed by indigo processes from other places and is currently being rediscovered and celebrated within fiber and textile communities Korea.

Students in the Introduction to Textile Media course participated in two workshops: dyeing with indigo and natural dyeing with plant matter. Check out the photos to see these fabulous patterns and natural colors.


These workshops took place outdoors on the CMU campus and were also open to students outside of the Textile Media course to participate, in which each workshop had 20-30 participants. The histories of the plant dyes and the people who developed such a technique have been introduced to students. The workshops provided hands-on techniques for dying multiple fabrics with indigo or natural dye, which were given very positive feedback.