Behind The Scenes: INDIGO

Indigo is the most romantic and quixotic dye of all shades.  Much can be achieved from the indigo paste from deepest blues which adhere to the host fibre for hardly any time at all to palest weathered indigo blues of either green or reddish cast

Initially a hand process the craft of indigo dyeing has evolved to a mass manufactured product. But still the hand crafted results are the most sought even today.

Waxed tie dyed patterns an hand woven Ikat weaves continue to look joyful maintaining their freshness and style relevance.

.... and of course the antique versions of vintage hand dyed indigo stripes and dobbies are THE most sought after in whatever form be it a garment or a bedquilt.

The Gees Bend quilts are among the most desired and the most marvellous having a naivety and spontaneous charm.


Cotton yarn is raw white before we add the all important indigo colour dye.  

These are charming drawings of a dye range, beaming and slashing processes by Danny Southern late of Burlington Denim.  All are part of putting indigo colour onto the cotton yarn

©The Denim Eye 2016

©The Denim Eye 2016

A modern rope dye range showing cotton ropes before being immersed in the indigo baths or boxes.

There are traditionally a number of boxes through which the indigo can pass. Circulation pumps are used with individual boxes so that the depth and concentration of the indigo can be controlled in each box or in the number of dips. The question of numbers of dips which refers to the depth of the shade is misleading.  12 dips is regarded as being the darkest but there are not in fact 12 actual dips, the extreme depth is achieved by slowing the speed of the range to allow longer dwell time in each bath.  

Today the most modern dye ranges can in fact support 12 dye boxes thereby having the ability to create the most extreme depths of indigo shade.

©The Denim Eye 2016

©The Denim Eye 2016

The rope dye range with coiled ropes after being immersed in the indigo dye baths,

©The Denim Eye 2016

©The Denim Eye 2016

Decorated commercial yarn transportation in Pakistan.  

Traditional transport in Pakistan which still exists today. Mostly however such transport has been replaced by the Tuk Tuk which is a motor scooter with an integral carriage.