A morning workshop with the Material Girls

Indigo dye workshop at Chiang Mai’s Studio Naenna

By | Fri 27 Nov 2020

The Japanese have long been known to take arts and crafts and elevate them to an art – no, almost scientific – form.

When I heard about the Studio Naenna Indigo dye workshop, I at first assumed we were talking about the usual folksy and fun tie-dye we all learnt in high school art class. Just a happy crafty activity to express creativity. But on arrival at the charmingly lush and cozy courtyard in front of Studio Naenna’s Chang Khian headquarters, and greeted by mother and daughter textile aficionados, Patricia and Lamorna Cheesman, I soon learnt that this is a far more interesting, and exacting, skill. Like origami, the craft of tie-dying has been elevated into complex and challenging patterns which often require great vision, patience and understanding of how the dye works.

Patricia Naenna introduces participants to different techniques

Whether you are just looking for something fun to do over a morning or wanting to begin the journey of mastering the fascinating process of indigo dye, Studio Naenna’s beginners’ workshops offer great value for money and a fun experience to indulge in on your own or with some friends.

Gloves and aprons provided

Apart from the two and a half hour morning workshop, where participants are given a nice overview of the craft and some ideas to be inspired by before working on their own piece of cloth (with a lovely coffee and snack break in between), there is also a three day ‘Indigo Harvest Workshop’ for those who wish to delve deeper into the blue.

Fun getting mucky in the vats

It all starts with harvesting, and you can cut your own indigo plants, bundle and soak the leaves, choose a dying fabric, before preparing the dye vat. The indigo is then beaten and dying techniques taught. In this more in-depth course, participants learn not just the practice of the craft, but also the theory, all taught by renowned textile expert Patricia Cheesman.

Hands on

The morning workshop costs 500 baht per person and while normally the three-day course costs 3,000 baht per person, COVID prices halve that at 1,500 baht.

For more information or bookings contact st.naenna@gmail.com

Tel 66-5322-6042

Tel 66-5389-5136

Dye time