The Indigo Dyeing Technique is an amazing dying and printing procedure that has fascinated many people for centuries. It is also known as the blue gold and Kozii’s team just loves to incorporate it in its collections, over and over again.
The color indigo is named after the wheel blue indigo dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, common in tropical climates. Cultivation is believed to have begun as far back as 5.000 years in what is today Pakistan and Northwest India. Indigo is the responsible dye for the ultramarine denim color that is so familiar to all of us.
Nowadays, the idea of such a beautiful and special natural dye on natural fibers is certainly appealing amongst eco-friendly earth-conscious designers and consumers, and so is for our team and customers.
Here's a video that shows how this amazing natural dye is transferred onto the fabric:
A typical Indigo vat is about 3 to 5 meters deep and sunk into the floor of a covered area. The contents are like a living organism and must be continuously nurtured. When a vat is started it is filled to about a quarter of its capacity with a thick sandy dye liquor that has been retained from a previous vat. Indigo powder, slaked lime and molasses are then added and the whole thing is topped up with water.
For the next two weeks the vat is fed daily with these ingredients, until it begins to look and feel ready. Finally, about 20 days after starting, when it is judged perfect, dyeing can begin.
In order to create a pattern area of cloth have to be prepared to resist the dye. This is usually done by block printing with a paste that prevents the dye from penetrating the fabric, but other methods such as tie-dye are also used.
The resist paste is made by mixing earth, slaked lime, a fine powder obtained from the action of insects on stored wheat and water. This mixture is pressed through cloth to give a smooth adhesive paste.
As each length is printed, it is dusted with saw dust to stop it from smudging before it is totally dry. The printed cloths are then dried in the sun before dipping in the vat.
Each time the cloth is dipped and exposed to the air a darker shade of blue is achieved and only when the cloth has its desired shade of blue it is washed to remove the resist paste and any excess indigo that has not adhered to the cloth.