workshop studio 

in my studio I use indigo textiles as my pallet. This has become a rare commodity in more recent times. Since Bayer discovered that he could chemically synthesise this dye in 1890 and aniline dye became de rigeur, plant indigo dyes are made with love rather than pragmatism. This introduces a special energy into the fabric

Yet, blue isn't just a hue. Singers belt out "blue songs," from country singer LeAnn Rimes' "Blue," to rocker Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou," and from crooner Bing Crosby's "Blue Skies, to jazz virtuoso Ella Fitzgerald's rendition of Rogers and Hart's "Blue Moon," or Elvis Presley's "Blue Suede Shoes." Of course, one of America's signature sounds is blues music, which became the foundation for jazz, rhythm and blues (R&B), rock and roll, and hip-hop. Many Americans realize that the blues emerged from African-American gospel and work songs, but not as many realize that the color blue is also directly linked to the African-American experience and slavery. The link is a deep blue natural dye, indigo.

Natural Indigo is perhaps the oldest dye known to man. The oldest historic texts speak of it, as in the colors chosen for the Tabernacle of the Arc of the Covenant. The oldest fragments of cloth are dyed with it. It is a dye known to all cultures of the world.

Natural Indigo is one of the fastest dyes known to man. It was the original dye of the "Levi's" blue jeans, a trademark color for durability. It is the only natural blue dye of permanence.

Natural Indigo is dyed in a manner different than any other dye. Most Natural Dyes are affixed with a metallic salt, in a two-step process. Natural Indigo is fermented, then dyed in a process that affixes the Indigo as it oxidizes in the air.

in Japan, indigo became especially important in the Edo period when it was forbidden to use silk, so the Japanese began to import and plant cotton. It was difficult to dye the cotton fiber except with indigo. Many years later the use of indigo is very much appreciated as a color for the summer Kimono Yukata, as the blue sea and the nature are recalled on this traditional clothing.


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