My friend, Allison, and I recently visited Table Rock Llamas Fiber Arts Studio and the DyeWorks in Black Forest, Colorado. Part yarn store, part fiber arts studio, part instructional classroom Table Rock Llama is a fusion of retail store and creative space. Although there were no scheduled dye classes until summer we decided to purchase some indigo dye and try the process ourselves. I believe the word is 'self-taught'.
To be honest Table Rock's pre-reduced indigo dye is very easy to work with as they have already added the lye. We mixed the dye with soda ash and started dipping our clothing. The clothing is a beautiful shade of green when it comes out of the vat, quickly oxidizes, and turns blue.
Once the clothes have dried they are soaked in a warm vinegar bath, dried in the sun, and the final step is to wash them for an hour and a half to get out an excess indigo. I am wearing my first indigo tee shirt today and am relieved that my skin has not turned blue.
It seems like a labor intensive process but considering every piece is a work of art it's worth it.