Indigo refers to the several species of Indigoferra, an herb famous for the natural blue colours obtained from its leaves and branches. Blue is the most rare of all natural dyes. The wide appeal of indigo stems from the subtle variations in colouring it produces. Every indigo-dyed garment has its own personality. This is the result of a complex series of chemical reactions between the dye and the fiber being dyed.
Indigo was well loved by ancient Indians and Egyptians. In early European societies, blue dye was obtained from the woad plant that grew extensively in what is now France and England. When defending their territory against Roman soldiers, the early Britons painted their faces blue to scare the enemy. In fact, the word "Briton" means "painted man." Eventually, the more superior indigo dye of India replaced European woad.
Widely used since the Middle Ages, indigo has left its mark on societies as diverse as the fiercely independent, nomadic Tuareg, the so-called blue men of the Sahara, and colonial Louisiana, where indigo was king until it was usurped by cotton. In the 1800's, indigo was brought into modern society with the development of synthetic dyes. Chemist Adolf Von Baeyer first synthesized indigo, changing the textile industry and earning a Nobel Prize.
The power and symbolism of indigo blue continued into modern times. Coats supplied by the French to American soldiers during the Revolution were dyed with indigo. As the new country expanded and found its own identity, the blue jean-dyed with indigo-became a symbol of American individualism.
As a modern industrial process, there is still an art to the production of high-quality indigo dying. We're proud to bring you only the world's best, authentic indigo-dyed garments. Indigo yarns now make it possible to bridge the gap between jeans and active sportswear with what is now the 'alternative denim.' As an indigo yarn garment is worn and washed it will fade and take on the attractive patina of well-loved jeans.