The Story of Indigo
Indigo is an historic colour used widely within textile industries around the world. Whilst it's first known use as a fabric dye can be traced back 60000 years to Huaca Prieta in Peru it was also well known to ancient civilisations in the Middle East, Egypt, Britain, South America and West Africa.
Natural indigo dye is a dark greenish blue colour usually obtained from the leaves of plants native to different areas of the world, Dyers Knotweed in India, Anil in Central and South America, Natal in India and Woad in Europe.
The first major centre of production of indigo was India who went on to supply it to the Greeks and Romans eventually leading to it being awarded its name, derived from the latin for 'indian'.
Considered by the Greeks and Romans to be a luxury and used for centuries by many Asian countries to dye silk, clothes dyed with indigo were often considered a signifier of wealth.
During the Edo period in Japan, however, when commoners were banned from wearing silk and, as a result, cotton became popular, Indigo gained even greater importance because it was one of the few substances that would dye cotton.
Indigo remained a rare commodity in Europe throughout the Middle Ages but with the establishment of the Silk Road, the importation and demand for indigo in Europe rose significantly and plantations were established by European powers in colonies in Central & South America, Haiti, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.
In North America, indigo was was introduced into South Carolina, where it became the colony's second-most important crop after rice and because of its high value as a trading commodity, was often referred to as blue gold.
Our plain cotton apron in 'Indigo'. Click here to view
Our Iba Plates, Bowls & Platters in Indigo. Click here to view