On May 15th, MMA staff member Angela Kimberk will be teaching a workshop about indigo dyes. We wanted to share the rich history of the color and process with our students.
“Historically, indigo was a natural dye extracted from the leaves of certain plants, and this process was important economically because blue dyes were once rare… Indigo is among the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing. The oldest known fabric dyed indigo dating to 6,000 years ago was discovered in 2009 at Huaca Prieta, Peru.
Many nations have used indigo as a dye for centuries. The dye was also known to ancient civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Britain, Peru, Iran and Africa. Indigo was also cultivated in India, which was also the earliest major center for its production and processing.’ Indigo was considered a luxury item.
“Indigo used to be a rare commodity. Only a few centuries back, this mysterious dyestuff was so exclusive that only royalty and the aristocracy could afford it. It was imported with great difficulty from far-off colonies, which earned indigo a status similar to that of tea, coffee, silk or even gold.”
Become part of the tradition on May 15th and explore the shape-resist techniques and amazing effects of indigo and fiber dye. Workshop participants will have cotton cloth and yarn provided, to stitch, fold, twist, wrap and clamp to form a barrier to the dye in an indigo vat.
Thanks Wikipedia for the facts about Indigo dye & Pinterest for the cool images!