What Exactly Is Indigo?
Indigo is a dye for fabric to achieve a characteristic dark blue colour. It became famous when the indigo powder was traded from India to Europe. Even today, many of our clothes are dyed with indigo – from the traditional dirndl in Austria to the jeans we wear daily. Pelagonas Mai Table Runners are also dyed with natural indigo.
The natural indigo is made from a tropical plant. However, as it is labour intensive and, hence, expensive, it has been substituted by the cheaper synthetic indigo in the industry. These synthetic dyes not only pose serious health risks for the people who make the products but also the consumers wearing them. Moreover, they are detrimental to our environment. Did you know that synthetic indigo is commonly used in the production of denim jeans?
Indigo is made from a tropical plant. Its seed is planted in June. The harvest in Thailand is in September and October. The plants are bundled together and put into big buckets. These buckets are then filled up with water (around 12-16 litres per bucket). Heavy stones are put on top of the plants to help extract the colour. The leaves need to soak in the water over night, usually about 24 hours depending on the outside temperature.