The Praxis Natural Dye Gardens
Praxis is working with the The Cleveland Seed Bank to design and plant our indigo gardens.
In 2018 we turned a vacant Cleveland lot into a natural dye garden! The Praxis Natural Dye garden is located at the corner of Corsica Avenue and E 156th Street. Praxis is thrilled to be doubling the scale of our natural dye crop in 2019! Thanks to a generous partnership with Hospice of the Western Reserve, we will be sharing one of their lots in South Collinwood! We look forward to a prosperous relationship with Hospice of the Western Reserve and Hannah Gibbons School, CMSD K-8 located across the street.
We grow weld and marigolds along the perimeter of the garden, and Indigo as the main crop in the center of the garden. The outer perimeter plants yield beautiful flowers and when cropped and boiled in water, extract bright and beautiful shades of yellow which can be used to dye any natural fabric such as cotton, silk or wool. Indigo is the oldest known natural dye. Discovered in India, there is evidence of Indigo in Egyptian tombs. This also makes Indigo the most permanent and long lasting natural dye. Many cultures have their own uses for Indigo but in the United States you will find the color mostly in denim. However, natural Indigo has been replaced with a synthetic version, which, like all synthetic dyes, is terrible for the environment. It is our goal to create an indigo crop which would not only be used for educational programming to spread the word to our local communities the important of natural dye practices, but also could be sold as an alternative to local clothing companies and manufacturers who use synthetic indigo and are looking for a smaller carbon footprint.
In 2018 we harvested 100 pounds of indigo. Praxis is proud to host Creative Fusion in 2019 sponsored by the Cleveland Foundation. We invited Creative Fusion artists Tony Williams(Cleveland), Roland Ricketts(Indiana), and Maria and Eduardo Portillo(Venezuela) to use our Cleveland grown Indigo with the help of the community. Click here for more info on the banner project.