A deep rich blue is so often chosen as a favourite colour of our customers – we are always happy to see a flawless blue sky and in India Jodhpur is known as the ‘Blue City’ because of all the houses that are richly painted in blue around the fort area. But indigo is its own colour somewhere between blue and violet, and that is why we think it so gorgeous.
Indigo is the traditional dye used for clothes (and in some festivals for people!) in India and it comes from the leaves of the Indigofera tinctoria plant and similar. India is one of the oldest producers and cultivators of indigo and it even gave rise to a peasants’ revolt in Bengal due to their treatment by The East Indian Company.
These days most of the indigo dye produced for commercial dyeing is synthetic (so no more blue legs when you first wear your new jeans!), but in India many small firms still use indigo in the traditional way for making clothes on a small organic scale. It is such a flexible dye that indigo is used in various shades from deepest blue through to purple. We have a few bedspreads dyed with Indigo and anywhere you see blue in our block and screen printed clothes you know what dye has been used.
And although we always advise washing strong colours separately, our indigo dyed clothes are all pre-washed to minimise colour bleed as well as making the Indian cottons so soft.