Making

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Indigo

Aligned with our commitment to sustainable production practices, our garments are created with natural materials and azo free dyes; giving thought to the environment, dyer, and wearer. Early on this year, we added to our natural dye range with a selection of tops, and the bigger hope is to continue bringing more styles to this. Indigo was our first step into natural dye, we fell in love with the deep blue and loved it even more when we learned of its characteristics.

Here are 3 things you didn’t know about indigo:

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1. It is not blue

When dyeing with indigo, the colour is first green and only turns blue gradually after it oxidizes. The air, temperature and humidity are a harmony of factors that affect the final shade. Which is why the colour is a unique shade of blue every time.

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2. It is a living dye

Before dyeing, indigo typically undergoes a long fermentation process in large concrete vats. They bubble up, appearing to breathe, and this lifelike reaction is also an assuring indication of its quality. On a molecular level, this fermentation process is crucial. It enables the water insoluble indigo dye molecules to attach and bond to cloth fibers, which makes sure the dye stays on the clothes. The depth and fastness of the colour are determined by the layers of fermented indigo dye molecules built up in the vat.

MATTER_Prints_Indigo_Dye_Fabric3. It is one of the only two natural dyes that doesn’t need a mordant

The majority of natural dyes require a mordant to retain their colour fastness so that the intended shade stays even after multiple washes. Indigo is one of the only two natural dyes that skips this process because of its molecular structure – but there are many variations on dye method, and not all will give the best results. Decades of dyeing with indigo has led our artisans to perfect their methods, creating a rich and permanent natural blue that doesn’t fade or run.

Watch the video below to learn more about the beauty of indigo:

 


Read more on our journal here to find out more about the generational techniques that we work with.