There’s synthetic indigo dye, the stuff used for the mass production of denim, and then there’s true indigo: the natural dye derived from the Indigofera tinctoria plant species that has been used for centuries in Asia to produce a profound blue with depth and dimension.
In Japan, indigo became especially important in the Edo period when it was forbidden to use silk, so the Japanese began to import and plant cotton. They soon discovered it was difficult to dye the cotton fiber with anything except indigo.
Today indigo is used for garments such as the Yukata kimono – a casual summer kimono that invokes nature and the blue of the sea.
We discovered this small book of antique Japanese indigo swatches in a vintage specialty store on one of our many fabric hunts, and were instantly captivated by the book’s unique, tonal patterns.
This beautiful book stayed constant in our minds as we worked through our own patterns and color themes for our Fall ’12 and Spring ’13 designs.
Keep an eye out for styles inspired by this book in upcoming collections at territoryahead.com