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Indigo seeds and other news

Posted on Dec 10, 2011 by in gardening, indigo, inspiration, natural dyes, workshops | 10 comments

My indigo crop was abundant this year, and I allowed the stems to flower at the beginning of fall. When the flower clusters started to turn brown, I cut off the stems and spread them on a cloth to dry indoors. Now I have a huge pile of stems, and have started to clean the seeds.

Dried Japanese indigo stems, ready for seed collection and cleaning.

Japanese indigo seeds

This year I am offering my seeds on the Fibershed Marketplace website. A percentage of each sale goes to support Fibershed in our ongoing educational programs.

Some advance news of a very exciting event we are planning: Fibershed founder and director Rebecca Burgess is in conversation with Rowland Ricketts about him making a trip to California in January to consult with her about building a traditional indigo composting floor, and we are organizing an evening lecture by Rowland that will be open to the public! More information as soon as plans are finalized.

Note added January 4, 2012: The workshop sold out immediately, but there will be an evening lecture by Rowland in Point Reyes Station on January 10th. For more information, visit the Fibershed Events page.

I am also very excited about a DVD I bought recently called Natural Dye Workshop with Michel Garcia, Colors of Provence Using Sustainable Methods. I learned some new methods for making indigo vats, and for using a clay resist paste to create interesting designs with indigo. The course also covers painting with mordants to achieve a variety of results with other plant dyes. Highly recommended!


  1. Hi Dustin, I am heading over to the Fibershed site to buy indigo seeds – the San Anselmo variety. Also looking forward to borrowing your DVD someday (no rush!)… sounds like it’s filled with great information, the kind I’ve been looking for.

    Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Now on to buying seeds!

  2. Hi Dustin, I am writing from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I want to know if I can get some Japanese indigo seeds from you. I was at a workshop by Michel Garcia recently. He is wonderful.

    • Hi Lily,

      Thanks for writing. How fortunate that you were able to take a workshop from Michel Garcia!

      Yes, I can send you some Japanese indigo seeds. This year I am selling them to benefit Fibershed, so I will email you a Paypal payment request. It’s $4.75 plus $1.50 shipping. American customers can purchase them directly through Fibershed Marketplace.

      By the way, your quilts are beautiful!

  3. Hi Dustin,

    I came across your site when looking for information on japanese indigo. I am writing you from Hungary and would appreciate it if you could send me some seeds, I would love to try if japanese indigo grows here or not. If you think it would be possible, please send me a PayPal request.

    Thanks in advance!
    Best regards,

    • Hi Zsofia, I will do some research on mailing seeds to Hungary to see if customs allows it, and what the postage would be. When I find out I will let you know, and then set up a Paypal request. I’ll be back in touch soon!

      • Thanks a lot Dustin!

  4. Seeking information about Indigo cultivation.
    We need some seeds or plant of Indigo for an exhibition purpose. This is vary important for us. We have to collect these as soon as possible. We shall be highly obliged if u kindly cooperate us and give us your valuable suggestion (how may we get these, how much we will have to pay for these).
    Soumen ghosh (contact no-09748050630 or )
    Muskaan Welafre Society,
    Kolkata, West Bengal.

    • Hi. Thanks for your interest in Indigo. The plants that I grow here in the temperate climate where I live are Polygonum tinctorium, or Japanese indigo. As far as I know, the plants that are most suited to your climate are Indigofera tinctoria. There is an organization in Canada called Maiwa that works closely with natural dyers in India, so they may have some resources to offer you. Here is their website: Good luck with your exhibition!

      • I was unable to purchase seeds from the fibershed site. I tried to use paypal. Can I do this another way? Check perhaps? Thanks.

        • Hi Kiki, Paypal should work unless you are trying to make the purchase from another country. Where are you making the purchase from?