NATURAL INDIGO DYE: Blue is the color of the sky and the sea. It is the color of the sapphire and the tanzanite. It is a color we take so much for granted when we wear our denim and fleece that we forget that at one time, it was worth its weight in gold, worn only by the richest and royal. Indeed it was called Blue Gold. It also has a turbulent history associated with famine, slavery, and human suffering.
Last week, I had written about dyes extracted from animals. In continuation of the story of natural dyes, I will describe the primary dyes extracted from plant sources and the often violent history associated with at least one of these. (more…)