Cochineal, Indigo and Purpura. A Dyer’s Journey

Quick Details

Dates: Jan 25-Feb 4, 2020

Duration: 11 days/10 nights

Departing and ending point: Departs Puerto Escondido and ends in Oaxaca Mexico

Want your own room? Single supplement option available for an additional $350

Arguably three of the most iconic natural dyes on earth, cochineal, indigo and shell-dyed purple are the focus of this dyer’s journey and hands-on workshop. If you love natural dyes and traditional culture, this trip is for you.

Our travels take us from the UNESCO World Heritage city of Oaxaca to the peaceful weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle to a small cove on the tropical Pacific which is one of the last places on earth where mollusks are “milked” to create a purple dye.

The core of our journey will be focused in Teotitlan, where we’ll work with a selection of true master dyers and learn from them their secrets and approaches to creating colors with cochineal and indigo as well as peeks at other colors, like those derived from lichens and a kind of wild chamomile. These masters tease dozens of tones from these noble dyes and vertible rainbows when they combine them with other natural dyes.

Then, on the other side of the Sierra Madre we witness something truly rare and extraordinary. The Mixtec people of the Oaxacan coast are the last traditional people on earth who continue to dye using purpura panza, a sea mollusk related to murex. Our’s is the privilege to witness this process with one of the last masters, a true cultural treasure.

We’ll also meet a collective of weavers and knitters working with brown cotton and reviving a village’s economy, see how cochineal is used in traditional food, immerse ourselves in a fascinating indigenous market, swim in the warm Pacific Ocean, see exquisite tapestry weaving, meet a group of weavers who work with shell dyed thread, eat delicious Oaxacan cuisine, travel through the sub tropical coffee growing mountains of the Sierra Madre and rather a lot more.

Highlights:

  • Hands-on dye workshops with cochineal, indigo, lichens and wild chamomile
  • Witness purple dyeing using sea mollusks
  • Meet a collective a women reviving brown cotton
  • Explore indigenous markets and villages
  • Swim in the warm, clear, blue Pacific Ocean
  • Meet master tapestry weavers