Magic of Ryukyu Ai Presentation

Ryukyu Ai (indigo) is one of my most favorite natural dyes. So, I was thrilled to be invited to speak about the “The Magic of Ryukyu Ai” on Friday, October 26, at 7:00 pm.  My presentation is sponsored by Okinawa Arts Research Studies World Scene in Austin, TX USA.

Ryukyu Ai (indigo) is often referred to as Okinawa’s ocean blue indigo.  Note the Ryukyu Ai leaf with blue/purple veins–this occurs when the plants are ready for harvesting and pigment extraction (lower left). A fermented Ryukyu ai nohana (indigo flower) is located on the lower right view.

The event will include an overview of Ryukyu Ai production and dyeing, and many indigo-dyed textile samples will be exhibited.  We will also discuss:

  • Ryukyu Ai plant growth;
  • pigment extraction, and doro ai (indigo mud) production;
  • creating and maintaining traditional Ryukyu Ai fermentation vats;
  • working with organic 1-2-3 vats; and,
  • the many traditional and contemporary indigo textile design possibilities including bingata, handwoven Ryukyu kasuri (ikat), shibori, and eco-prints.
A Traditional Ryukyu Ai Fermented Vat

The presentation will be followed by a plant to dye workshop on Saturday. Photos of our Ryukyu Ai workshop will follow.  Until then, sending you best wishes for a blue*ti*ful Fall! Scharine

Ryukyu Kasuri “Weaving Shuttle” Motif with Hand-Dyed Ryukyu Ai Threads…one of my kasuri (ikat) teaching samples



Published by Ryukyu Heritage Textiles

Weaver. Fiber Artist. Photographer. Cook. Independent Traveler. Writer. Knitter. Fiber Spinner. Gardener. Geoscientist. Nature Lover. Angler. Marathoner. Wife. Observer. Taster. Technologist. Did i say Weaver?

4 thoughts on “Magic of Ryukyu Ai Presentation

  1. Just FYI, I don’t know if you were contacted but I was contacted by Etsuko Chrissy who is a retired editor for the Okinawa times. She still writes for them and wrote about oars (article is on my FB page for myself) and wants to do another article about our event. She is in Okinawa now and said she will holler at me when she gets back. I will keep you posted and will give her your information if she does not have it already. David

    1. Hi David, I haven’t met Etsuko-san before. So glad to hear of her interest in writing an article about our Ryukyu Ai workshop. I appreciate your keeping me posted, and passing-on my contact info. Meanwhile, I’m ready to do some more Ryukyy Ai (indigo) dyeing. How about you? ;)
      P.S. Looking forward to checking-out the article she wrote about OARS previously!

  2. Hello! I’m currently living on the island of Okinawa and am hard pressed to procure seeds for Ryukyu-Ai. Any tips on hunting some down? I’ve been a fiber artist for 15 years, a gardener for longer and am finally confident enough to dabble with dyes and want to do it regionally and properly.
    Many thanks for any tips, love your blog!!!

    1. Hello Catherine, It’s so nice to hear from you. Yes, your challenge is understandable because Ryukyu Ai (the plant) is propagated via cuttings. Where are you located on the island? Would love to meet you, and see your work sometime. I searched for you on social media (FB and Insta), but was unable to find you. Looking forward to learning more about you and your work! My best, Scharine

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