Sunday, February 18, 2007

Indigo a blue to dye for


A fantastic exhibition on indigo is on at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, and will then tour the UK. Did you know woad and indigo are one in the same thing? That indigo is the only true blue dye? That it has to ferment to be released from the plant, and that ancient people used to use post menopausal women to work the dye vats, as they feared fertile women soured the process?
And then there's jeans,jeans,jeans, Thank God for denim and Mr Levi Strauss. They changed post war Britain that's for sure.

And blow me the Indigo Girls on are tour here too. I didn't know and so I haven't got a ticket. They have a new album out called "Despite our Differences"
It includes as song called Little Perennials so as a gardener I've got to love it.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Colin Will said...

Hope you don't mind a botanical correction, but woad and indigo are different plants in different plant families, and from different regions. This UCLA ref refers:
http://www.botgard.ucla.edu/html/botanytextbooks/economicbotany/Isatis/index.html

Might try cultivating woad at Amisfield, if a local dyer would be interested in using it. It's a smelly process though.

9:49 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Sorry that was badly worded, I'm quoting from the exhibition in that the pigment that both plants yield is the same, although the plant sources are different. The exhibition is about the dye and what has been done with it, so they are largely interested in the pigment that was produced and the blue that it gave.

I found this, "In the 16th century, indigo was brought to Europe by Dutch, Portuguese, and English traders from India. Slowly but gradually, indigo replaced woad as the preferred dye in western Europe, even though the pigment used in both was the same."

10:58 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

More on pigment here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigment

11:04 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Blue is meant to be the new black this year. Shame it does nothing feor me! I used to love 'Mood Inidigo'.
When I was a teenager I used to get laughed at for wearing workmen's navy dungarees so I reckon I was one of the first.
In India I was entranced by their colours. LInes bedecked with every possible brilliant hued silks flapping in the breeze.
Even the poorest seemed to have brilliant colours.

11:24 am  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Indigo is a lovely colour and a lovely word.

11:53 am  
Blogger Colin Will said...

Azure's another lovely word, chiefbiscuit, but I once got taken to task in a poetry group for using both words in a line of a poem.

12:33 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

Indigo - a lovely word and some beautiful colours from it too.

7:17 pm  

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