Indigo: History And Modern Natural Dyeing

Indigo: History And Modern Natural Dyeing

Indigo is easy to fall in love with. It's verdant green leaves that hold the promise of a myriad of blues. A color humans around the world are fond of wearing. 

Naturally dyeing with indigo originated across multiple cultures working with various plant species to achieve the sought after shades of blue. Isatis tinctoria was grown throughout Northern Europe. In Central America, indigofera suffruticosa thrives. Persicaria tinctoria is the most common variety throughout Asia. Indigofera tinctoria grows in South and Southeast Asia. Each species looks rather unique and is situated to grow well in its unique growing region. In Vermont, I have found Persicaria tinctora grows best for me. 

Indigo is technically a legume, so its roots fix nitrogen, improving the soil it grows in. 

Traditionally, indigo has been fermented but there are other methods of extracting the pigment indigo today. Most commonly, companies today skip the indigo altogether for cheap, toxic chemical dyes they still name "indigo". At Danu Organic, we are guided by our inner grandma and chose an organic indigo that we naturally fermented in our Silver Lake, Los Angeles Dye Studio. We used a 3-2-1 vat recipe. 

It is a relatively new process for us and we are still learning and developing our recipe and process, but we could not be happier to begin offering shades of blue clothing made by us in collaboration with the earth.

To start, we have made indigo Opal Tees, Opal Crops, Tall Socks, Short Socks, Big Scrunchies and Little Scrunchies.

Our natural dyeing within Danu Organic has been one of our biggest investments to date and it was starting to feel like a business within a business at Danu which could be okay, but not at our current size (read: super small) so to be able to continue developing it, we felt the need to simplify. We will be dyeing solely with indigo for the foreseeable future as we iron out how we can offer naturally dyed clothes in a modern business. 

We think it's gorgeous and are so excited to develop shades from misty fog to blues to deep they touch black.

Thank you so much to everyone who is following along with our indigo journey.


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