Johanna Macnaughtan's main medium is natural 100% chemical-free indigo, but she also works with a range of other natural, permanent dyes such as walnut, cochineal, madder, weld, and mineral mud. She is interested in showcasing viable alternatives to chemical dyestuffs, and her practice focuses on the range of colours and tones that can be achieved with natural dyes.
She travels widely and has lived in Turkey, Oman, and West Africa. Wherever she travels, she searches out local textile traditions and collects examples. Her interest in West African textiles led her to discovering natural indigo many years ago in Senegal and Mali, and since then her passion has been to work with and know as much as possible about this alchemical dyestuff. A frequent visitor to France, she often uses vintage French textiles in her work, particularly searching out pieces in poor condition and salvaging and transforming them for a new life.