Indigo puts the “blue” in your blue jeans. But not true indigo — around the turn of the century, a synthetic version was produced, allowing indigo to become available for mass consumption.
Today, many artisans and makers are gravitating towards the natural plant-based indigo dying techniques, foundational of textile traditions across many cultures. Among them is Noon Design Studio, who have crafted a beautiful Indigo Dye Kit for at-home projects.
Indigo is old — we’re talking King Tut’s tomb old. A natural pigment found in hundreds of different plants, it’s extracted by soaking leaves in water. It’s most common source is plants in the Indigofera genus, a lovely shrub with bright pink flowers. We have a nice large one planted in our yard here at Pistils that attracts lots of attention — and bees — every summer.We love shibori — or Japanese Tie Dye — because the design possibilities are limitless – for as many ways as you can think of to bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth, you can come up with a new shibori design, from pure and simple to highly intricate. Shiburi has its origins in 8th century Japan, where–you guessed it–indigo was the most common dye used.
Dyeing your own fabric is easy and gratifying, and also has some truly magical moments (when you pull the fabric out of the dye vat, it’s a yellow-green color, and when it hits the air, it oxidizes to a deep blue right before your eyes!). Mostly, we’re fond of this project because it takes time, care and intention, allowing you to bring your individual creative expression to a centuries-old tradition.
Gallery photos courtesy of Noon Design Studio