WELCOME TO INDIGO WORLD.
OUR JOURNEY STARTED IN 2016 BUT INDIGO HAS BEEN AROUND FOR OVER 6000 YEARS.
When we started working with indigo we didn't realize the world that it was and the communities that it has been a part of, let alone the seminal role it had in throughout history for over 6000 years. We documented our own journey and introduced our collaborators in Sakon Nakhon in the visual essay Finding Oasis in 2020. Today we introduce Indigo World, a research and documentation project with Studio150 which manifests in a printed edition of postcards and a capsule collection. We created together a set of infographics and illustrations to communicate this world, the process of indigo dyeing and the various techniques that we use in the hope that this communal knowledge can be shared. We are grateful to be part of this journey and to be able to share the stories and the knowledge.
A limited edition litho-print 12-postcard box set is a gift with any Indigo World T-shirts purchased from now till they are ready to ship on July 30th.
THE BLUE GOLD
THE EARLIEST DIRECT EVIDENCE OF THE BLUE DYE KNOWN AS INDIGO DERIVED FROM THE INDIGOFERA TINCTORIA PLANT AND RELATED SPECIES DATES BACK TO 4000BC. MORE THAN JUST A COLOR IT WAS ALSO USED AS CURRENCY, AKA BLUE GOLD
IT WAS ALSO USED AS CURRENCY
THE BLUE DYE WAS MEASURED BY ITS WEIGHT AND USED AS CURRENCY, IT VALUED AS A LUXURY ITEM FOR THE BRILLIANT BLUE COLOR THAT IT OFFERED. HOWEVER, THE PLANT IN ITS NATURAL STATE DOES NOT YIELD A BLUE DYE IT IS THROUGH AN INTRICATE FERMENTATION AND REDUCTION PROCESS THAT THE NATURALLY OCCURRING COMPOUND INDIGOTIN IS PRODUCED TO YIELD THE BLUE DYE. IN SOME COMMUNITIES SUCH AS THE INDIGO DYEING COMMUNITIES IN ISAN, THIS PROCESS IS STILL DONE BY HAND TODAY.
FROM PLANT TO PASTE
THE PROCESS THAT THE PLANT GOES THROUGH IS ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE. FOR US, IT WAS THE COMMUNITY OF INDIGO GRANDMAS IN SAKON NAKHON WHOM SHARED THEIR KNOWLEDGE WITH US. INDIGO FARMING AND DYEING IS PART OF THEIR WAY OF LIFE, INDIGO GROWING ALONGSIDE THE RICE PADDIES IN THEIR VILLAGES. THE INDIGO CROP CYCLE ALSO IN HARMONY WITH THE RICE CROP.
INDIGO AND OTHER NATURAL DYES PREDATE OUR EXISTANCE YET THEY ARE STILL HERE TODAY. INDIGO WORLD AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO WHAT WE HAVE TODAY AND CAN BECOME PART OF AN ARTISANAL FUTURE, SHOULD WE ALLOW IT.
Still from Finding Oasis, cinematography by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom