front of Paulina's home in La BocaPaulina welcomed us in a very cold day, with a warm greeting at her house in La Boca where she lives with her boyfriend. I visited her for the workshop of natural dyes Material Joven with Cata, my sister in law and friend. It is an incredible experience that we recommend. I ended up eager to continue experimenting with more materials. We show you step by step one of the many dyes we used: indigo.

Crtel: Hoy taller de tintes naturales


  • Latex gloves 
  • 25grs de índigo 
  • 50 ml cold water  
  • 1 tablespoon of caustic soda 
  • 1 tablespoon of hydrosulfite
  • 2 tablespoons of anil 
  • 2 o 3 lts of water
  • Pot – container
  • Textile material to dye (cloth)
  • Plastic bands, tubes, pipes, wood, etc.

Step by Step

  1. Wear latex gloves. Cata poniendo los guantes
  2. Mix 25grs of indigo in 50 ml of cold water in a measuring container. First step for natural dyeMaterials for Natural dye
  3. Mix the caustic soda, hydrosulfite and anil in a large plastic container with 2 or 3 liters of water approximately. Add indigo and stir again very slowly. Add ingredients to water for natural dye
  4. Cover. Let it sit. Tapar. Tapr y dejar asentar- Tintes naturales
  5. Remove any bubbles that form on the surface. It is important to check the dye bath and keep removing any bubbles with a spoon because as oxygen enters it affects the oxidation process. Revolver para sacar las burbujas- Tintes naturales
  6. Use plastic bands, wood, plastic pipes and other alternatives to create your shapes in the textile fabric chosen to be dyed. You can also bend in pieces. Tintes naturalesLIV-Life-StepbyStep-Indigo-11
  7. Dye. Dip the cloth 2-5 minutes in the container. The exposure time will affect the colour intensity but mainly fixates it. Do not exceed these times. A deeper blue is obtained by repeating the immersion and oxidation, not by leaving the fabric more time in the bath. Tintes naturales
  8. Remove the cloth and hang it. When this oxidized with air it develops its characteristic blue color. Make sure to extend the cloth entirely in order to be equally oxide. Be very careful with drips because the indigo has a high tinting strength. Please note: the indigo paints the fabric, it does not dye it.Tintes naturales en La BocaTintes naturales en la BocaCata y Pili en tintes naturales Material Joven

This is sneak peek of what we did in the workshop. If you want to learn more about natural dyes with onions, eucalyptus, visit Material Joven or contact Paulina by email. Thanks Pau! 

Tintes Naturales Material Joven Tintes Naturales- Material Joven


Photos and content: Pilar Luna