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Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans (Paperback)

Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans Cover Image
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Praise for the U.K. edition:
Thoroughly satisfying.
-- Crafts

All those working with indigo or merely interested in the cultural history of that dye must read this book.
-- Textile Forum

Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans tells the compelling story of the world's oldest and best-loved dye, the iconic blue behind one of the world's ubiquitous fabrics: denim. Brilliant photographs and eloquent text describe the process of making indigo dye from plants and how indigo is used. It weaves stories of indigo's producers, its cultural traditions and history, its importance in global trade, and the modern textile artists and fashion designers who are reviving indigo for sustainable development.

The book covers:

  • Indigo's history, dating to ancient times
  • The botanical sources of indigo, including woad
  • Uses of indigo in traditional medicine and religious practices
  • The chemistry of indigo and the technology used to extract it
  • Production and dyeing methods
  • The commercial indigo industry, past and present
  • The health consequences of making indigo
  • Modern and future applications of indigo
  • Indigo's continuing appeal and the iconic blue jean

Indigo tells fascinating stories from the history of the dye, such as the recent discovery of 17th-century Spanish galleons in the Caribbean carrying hundreds of chests of raw indigo, which the author successfully used to dye 21st-century fabrics.

About the Author


Jenny Balfour-Paul, an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, is a partner in "Silk Road Connect", an exciting educational initiative of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project. She is also a Councillor and Trustee of the Royal Geographical Society and President of the UK Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. A renowned authority on indigo, Jenny has been publishing, lecturing, exhibiting and broadcasting on dye and related subjects for well over twenty years.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781554079896
ISBN-10: 1554079896
Publisher: Firefly Books
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2011
Pages: 264
Language: English