As we slowly reopen our shops for the strangest summer to come, I keep running into pieces and realize it is so hard to communicate virtually all the stories embedded in all that is exposed in our physical shops.
In these times, where the on-line is gaining so much territory, I do my best to get what we are across, but so much is just left behind. I hope you can visit us someday, and in the meantime, I will do my best to be as real as possible as I virtually can.
Today, I thought I would tell you all about the Indigo Technique. An amazing dying and printing procedure that has fascinated many people for centuries. It is also known as the blue gold and I just can’t stop myself from incorporating it in Kozii’s collections and organic fibers.
The color indigo is named after the wheel blue indigo dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctorial – common in tropical climates. Cultivation is believed to have begun as far back as 5,000 years in what is today Pakistan and Northwest India. Indigo is the responsible dye for the ultramarine denim color that is so familiar to all of us today.
Nowadays, the idea of such a beautiful and special natural dye on vegetable fibbers is certainly appealing amongst eco-friendly earth-conscious designers and consumers, and so it is for me, our team and our customers. So, let me show you the process behind this amazing dye and how it is exactly that we get it to our shops and then to you.
A typical Indigo vat is about 3 to 5 meters deep and sunk into the floor of a covered area. The contents are like a living organism and must be continuously nurtured. When a vat is started it is filled to about a quarter of its capacity with a thick sandy dye liquor that has been retained from a previous vat. Indigo powder, slaked lime, and molasses are then added and the whole thing is topped up with water.
For the next two weeks, the vat is fed daily with these ingredients until it begins to look and feel ready. Finally, about 20 days after starting, when it is judged perfect, dyeing can begin.
In order to create pattern areas of cloth have to be prepared to resist the dye. This is usually done by block printing with a paste that prevents the dye from penetrating the fabric, but other methods such as tie-dye are also used.
The resist paste is made by mixing earth, slaked lime, a fine powder obtained from the action of insects on stored wheat and water. This mixture is pressed through cloth to give a smooth adhesive paste.
As each length is printed, it is dusted with sawdust to stop it from smudging before it is totally dry. The printed cloths are then dried in the sun before dipping in the vat.
Each time the cloth is dipped and exposed to the air a darker shade of blue is achieved and only when the cloth has its desired shade of blue is washed to remove the resist paste and any excess indigo that has not adhered to the cloth.
This year we have used indigo dye on a few scarfs and pareos that we have included in our new fashion collection, but we have mostly used this amazing technique on our home décor collection.
Did you know we also have a home décor line? We have designed a whole collection for home textiles including rugs, bedsheets, pillows, running fabrics, pareos, toilet bags and unique wall hangings.
We have not yet photographed our home collection professionally and it is therefore not online. If you are physically unable to visit us personally feel free to ask us for this home collection and we’ll gladly send you pictures directly from our shops!
I leave you with this video of the whole process that led to this year’s Home Deco collection. You will understand it by now ? Hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed designing it for you!
All the best,
Cecília (Creative Director)
Shop our Indigo Scarfs here.
For Home Collection please request photos by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. +351 281 027 306