Last night Field Trip had a really wonderful indigo dye workshop taught by Libby. We learnt a lot and boy, did we have fun! We wanted to know more about this magical dye compound -- so we did some research and thought we'd share our finding with you...
Indigo dye is a very distinct blue color and has been used as a natural dye for centuries. It is one of the oldest dyes used for textiles and was known to ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Britain, Mesoamerica, Africa, and Asia. India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing in the Old World and is the earliest center for its production and processing.
In Africa the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Mandinka of Mali are particularly well known for their expertise with indigo dye.
Indigo came to Japan during the Edo period when silk was forbidden, so the Japanese began importing cotton. It was difficult to dye cotton with anything except indigo, which began Japan's long history with indigo dye.
During our workshop we were introduce to Shibori, which is a Japanese tie-dying technique dating back to the 8th century. The many techniques of Shibori include shape-resist, pole-wrapping, stitching, loop binding, & pleating.