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Rainbow Connection: Mood Indigo III

December 28, 2022

Indigo is a deep blue color that has been used for centuries to dye clothing, fabrics, and other materials. The color is named after the indigo plant, which was used to produce a blue dye in ancient civilizations.

Indigo has a long and rich history that stretches back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used indigo to dye cloth as early as 4000 BCE. The dye was also used in ancient India, where it was obtained from the Indigofera tinctoria plant, and in ancient China, where it was obtained from the plant Persicaria tinctoria.

In Europe, indigo dye was first imported from India in the 16th century, and it quickly became popular for use in dyeing textiles. The indigo plant was also grown in Europe for use in dye production, and indigo dye became one of the most important exports from the colonies in the Americas.

Today, indigo is still widely used in the production of blue jeans and other clothing, and it is also used in the printing industry, as a pigment in paints and inks, and in a variety of other applications.

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On Johns Island in South Carolina, tucked along Maybank Highway, not far from where the Stono River meets Pennys Creek, sits a long-obscured piece of history. The remains of a four-chambered brick structure are set among black gum trees, live oaks and scrub brush. At its base, partially covered by moss and bald cypress roots, the tint that enchanted the colonial world is still visible. The ridges of the mortar in between the bricks emit a blue hue, the color of the ocean: indigo, a name that refers to the shrub, the dye the plant produces and the color itself.

This crumbling vat, with squares aligned back to back, was built to process the plant when the demand for indigo dye was at its height. For 50 years, starting in the late 1740s, indigo was a major South Carolina cash crop, second only to rice. At one time, the extracted pigment, dried and shaped into circular cakes, was so prized that it was sometimes called blue gold, and used as currency—even as barter for slaves. After the Revolutionary War, indigo processing fell into obscurity, relegated to the fringes of the agricultural conversation (if it was ever mentioned at all) as a historical oddity.

…. Read the rest of The Blue That Enchanted the World here.

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Indigo in Art

Many artists throughout history have used indigo in their work. In the art of dyeing and printing fabrics, indigo has been used to create a wide range of blue hues, from pale sky blue to deep, rich navy.

In painting, indigo has been used as a pigment in various shades of blue, and it has also been used to create green and purple hues when mixed with other pigments. Some famous artists who have used indigo in their work include Vincent van Gogh, who used indigo in many of his paintings, including “The Starry Night,” and Paul Klee, who used indigo extensively in his colorful abstract compositions.

Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night - (MeisterDrucke-11281)

Indigo has also been used by traditional artisans in various cultures around the world to create intricate patterns and designs on fabrics and other materials using dyeing and printing techniques. For example, indigo dye has been used for centuries in Africa to create the characteristic blue patterns on traditional cloth such as Kente and Adire.

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Some literature:

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Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans (Available on Amazon)

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Indigo: The Colour the Changed the World (Available on Amazon)

Here are a few facts about indigo:

  1. Indigo is a deep blue color that is named after the indigo plant, which was used to produce a blue dye in ancient civilizations.
  2. The indigo plant is a type of legume that is native to the tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, and Asia. It is also grown in other parts of the world for use in dye production.
  3. Indigo dye is produced by extracting a pigment called indigotin from the indigo plant. The pigment is then mixed with a mordant, which helps the dye adhere to fabrics, and the mixture is applied to the material to be dyed.
  4. Indigo has been used for centuries to dye clothing, fabrics, and other materials. It was one of the first dyes to be used commercially and was an important export from the colonies in the Americas.
  5. Indigo is still widely used today in the production of blue jeans and other clothing, and it is also used in the printing industry, as a pigment in paints and inks, and in a variety of other applications.
  6. In the visible spectrum, indigo is located between blue and violet, and it has a wavelength of approximately 420 to 450 nanometers.
  7. Indigo is associated with tranquility, spirituality, and depth. It is often used in meditation and yoga practices, and it is believed to have calming and soothing properties.

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I hope this will give you some inspiration towards your card designs.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 29, 2022 1:50 am

    A solid color and love the background info and trivia about Indigo

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