Attend a hands-on class to learn the plant-to-pigment indigo dye process, including various cultivars, dye extraction, and methods to create and maintain an indigo vat. The history of indigo will be discussed briefly, and a more comprehensive account will be shared during a screening of Dr. Nic Butler’s lecture, “Indigo in the Fabric of Early South Carolina.”
Indigo plants, prized for the vibrant blue dye they yield, formed an important part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy during our colonial era. Many historians point to Eliza Lucas Pinckney as the figure most responsible for introducing indigo to the Lowcountry around 1740, but the efforts of her contemporaries and the broader economic context of her work have received far less attention in recent years. CCPL’s historian, Dr. Nic Butler, provides an illustrated overview of the historical context of indigo’s rise and fall in early South Carolina.