Blue—Blu—Blau–Bleu : Vintage Indigos

Indigo blue may seem an ordinary colour to most but when in a pair of pre-loved worn in denim jeans it becomes something else entirely.   The cast, mostly reddish, becomes even brighter as the garment is more frequently washed due to the bleach lightening effect on the indigo dye.  Provided that is, the garment has not been tinted during its life.

As the colour wears off the top of the weave twill line it leaves the impression of a darker blue valley between the twill lines but that is illusory. The valley (weft) is in fact white, the reality is the indigo is sticking to the twill sides giving an almost 3D effect to the vintage fabric.   Likewise, the warp slubs will lose their indigo dye more quickly after wearing and bleaching creating another dimension.

 ©The Vintage Showroom (2015)  Worn

©The Vintage Showroom (2015) Worn

Vintage indigos in very old worn in jeans will retain their depth of shade and brightness in the body forming creases leaving worn out patches stained with hand grease.  It is effects such as these which we in the business of indigo denim try to replicate when creating a "new" pair of indigo denim jeans.

 ©Di Battista.A  My Archive

©Di Battista.A My Archive

Another worn in effect is to artificially remove the indigo by creasing the garment before subjecting it to a scrape or stonewash. The tumbling action combined with pumice stones in the washing machine lifts off the indigo dye from the prominent areas and if bleach is also added then the indigo shade becomes brighter as it washes down.

The allure of a beautiful worn in indigo denim garment cannot be replicated in any other item of apparel.

 ©Di Battista.A  My Archive

©Di Battista.A My Archive

The gradual loss of the indigo dye reveals the character of the fabric underneath combining it with wear marks from at least one maybe more, previous wearers.     Well preserved real vintage bright indigo garments have a history and richness that is impossible to replicate.