Indigo Dyeing & Japanese Shibori

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22-102 Indigo Dyeing & Japanese Shibori

Interested in booking one of our courses? Call our office on 01453 759 034

Sat 15Apr

Experiment with plant dye and traditional techniques

Facilitator: Zara Emily Shepherd

Learn all about the natural plant dye Indigo, and how it is used in the traditional Japanese tie and dye technique, Shibori. Experiment with stitching, wrapping and clamping to resist the dye and create dots, lines and graphic patterns on the cloth.

Our day courses include a 2-course lunch and 2 tea breaks of freshly made biscuits, cakes, fruit and a selection of drinks.


Event time: Sat 15th Apr 2023 at 9:30am - Sat 15th Apr 2023 at 4:00pm

Traditional · Plant Dye · Creativity · Japanese Shibori

At a Glance

  • Learn all about the plant dye indigo
  • Work with silk, cotton and linen
  • Create your own silk scarf

Participants will Gain

  • An understanding of the historical and contemporary use of indigo dye
  • How to extract the indigo dye from the plant
  • How to prepare the indigo dye vat to use at home
  • An introduction to the stitch, clamping and binding techniques of Japanese Shibori

The earliest documentation of Shibori can be found all the way back in the 8th century by the 45th emperor of Japan, Emporer Shomu.

Retreat Overview

During the workshop, you will be instructed on the complex workings of the plant dye Indigo. You will gain an understanding of how to prepare the indigo solution and dye vat to create strong and long-lasting blues on natural fibres. You will be shown how to fold, clamp and bind the fabric to create intricate Shibori resist patterns, which you can then apply to a number of different fabric samples. Once you have experimented with a variety of these methods on the fabric samples you will be able to create your own distinctive shibori design on a silk scarf, which you will take home.


Hawkwood is a stunning Grade II listed 19th Century country house, surrounded by 42 acres of sustainably managed woodland, farmland, and gardens. Set in the heart of the Cotswolds – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – it is a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. With a diverse selection of nearly 150 courses, there’s plenty to choose from, including courses in transformative leadership, future thinking, inner life, music and the arts. Our programme of courses is led by experienced tutors and leaders in their fields.


What Is Included

During your healing day workshop, you will get to enjoy fresh, delicious home-cooked lunches and all refreshments!  Our food is prepared daily with love and care by our experienced in-house kitchen team here at Hawkwood.

Additional Activities

• Mindful walking through our woodland trails

• Meditate in our Woodland Sanctuary

• Go on a hike and explore the Cotswolds AONB

• Discover surrounding charming market towns

Price Options

£95 Day Ticket


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Practical Information

Course registration is from 9:30am with the course starting at 10am. Please bring an apron or wear clothes you don't mind getting dye on. You may also wish to bring a notebook and pen.

Zara Emily Shepherd

Zara Emily is the founder of a craft workshop business Zara Emily based in Weston-super-Mare established in 2017. Zara grew up in Weston-super-Mare, she pursued her creative talents completing a foundation diploma in art and design at Weston college. Followed by a textile design degree at Winchester School of Arts graduating in 2006.

After graduation Zara was offered a job as technical instructor in printed textiles at Loughborough University. Zara taught undergraduate students skills in colour mixing, printing and dyeing. Zara is passionate about developing and learning new skills to enhance her teaching practice, whilst working at Loughborough she achieved an associate fellowship in teaching at higher education.

After ten years in Loughborough she made the decision to relocate to her home town of Weston-super-Mare and set up a print studio producing her own work which she sells at events and through selected stockist. In 2022 Zara was commissioned to create large flags for Weston high street hand painting and screen printing 32 single bed sheets at 170cm x 220cm to make 16 flags that hung in the high street for 3 months it was her biggest project to date. Zara continues her passion giving people the opportunity to experience the joy of creativity by running workshops at her studio and on location at other venues.

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