The Colors of Earth: Indigo Dyeing and its Role in SC: Kristy Bishop | ABC Lessons | Arts Grow SC Resources


Indigo is the rich and beautiful blue dye that comes from the indigo plant. In SC, Indigofera suffruticosa was grown on plantations as a cash crop sold to England during the 18th century. This blue dye is very unique in its dyeing process and chemistry. The indigo dye powder yielded from the leaves of the plant are not water soluble and must “reduced” to make a vat. Once the dye has been reduced, the dye process becomes even more magical when the process of oxidation begins. Cloth dyed in an indigo vat goes in white, comes out almost brilliant green, and oxidizes to that beautiful, rich blue that this dye is so well known for.

More in this Series

Arts Grow SC Resources