Zero Waste Fabric Scrap Bag – Hand Woven Denim

Hand woven denim off cuts

Mixture of sizes included

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Un-dyed Organic Denim – Studio Jacket

 Studio jacket.

Un-dyed / unbleached brushed twill fabric.

100% Organic Cotton.

Made in England.

You don’t have to sacrifice style or pattern to be kind to our planet.

 

Indigo dye and its origins, long before blue denim hit the scene

Indigo the Back Story Despite the name indigo no one knows precisely who first started using Indigo as a dye but its likely to have originated from India.  Its use goes back over many centuries and there are stories from cultures spread over the world.  Indigo dye is an attractive colour for use in a clothing dye and has been widely used in many cultures.  It is thought this is where the phrase “blue collar” workers might have originated as it was the most common colour used to dye denim. There are tales from many different cultures and regions that indicate that using indigo as a natural dye was discovered independently. The indigo ‘flower’ that forms on the top of an indigo dye vat Indigo dye pots, Northern Sumatra, 1980. Image borrowed from “indigo- EYGPTIAN MUMMIES TO BLUE JEANS” By kind permission of Jenny Balfour Paul. PHOTO CREDIT Sandra Niessen Indigo history from around the world As a small snapshot to illustrate this, in Japan, the samurai used to dye their clothes in natural indigo dye to wear for battle under armour.  It’s thought that it has anti-bacterial properties and protected the wounds.  By dyeing the fabric, it was stiffer and also odour and dirt resistant. In Nigeria the world famous Koftar Mata Dye Pit has a sign above its entrance stating that it was opened in 1498. Here in Europe, the only original true colour remaining of the Bayeaux tapestry is indigo. A recent discovery at an archaeological dig in Peru, said the earliest trace of Indigo being used as a dye may have been over 6,000 years ago, quite hard to comprehend. Cotton fibres were found with indigo on them. It was a lucrative trade for merchants and there is still lots of evidence of the riches that came …

OUR STORY SO FAR

Hello! I’m Lisa Reddings, the woman behind Indigowares. My love for the heritage and practice of indigo dyeing was my driving force when creating Indigowares. I take each garment as an opportunity to innovate a modern spin on long-established textile practices such as Shibori techniques, block printing and dip-dyeing. All of these are performed with natural dyes and eco-friendly practices. Sustainability is at the heart of Indigowares. Our philosophy is completely in line with the slow fashion revolution; we focus on craft, environmentally friendly processes, and traceability, making each garment to last. About me The philosophy that I’ve built Indigowares on is a result of my ever-evolving career in the fashion industry. Prior to creating Indigowares, I had spent 20 years training and working as a textile designer.  A good amount of my work was as a conceptual print designer, creating prints, denim treatments and finishes for well-known brands as well as independent print studios in New York and London. This work fuelled my love of textile creation. But during this time, I also began to notice the toll that the fast fashion process started to take. The work done in these fast paced, mass-production driven design studios began to feel rushed. There seemed to be less and less space for part of the process that I loved so much – digging deep to research, learn, and create classic timeless garments. Being on this fast fashion treadmill led to feelings of burnout. It wasn’t ideal for the design process, or for the innovation towards sustainable practices that has always been at my heart. My journey towards Indigowares began here. I wanted to create a response to this burnout, instead placing ethics, craft and beauty at the centre of the design process. I landed on the idea for Indigowares while I …

How to create the magical Indigo dye from its plant

Did you know that natural indigo dye comes from a plant?  We look at the steps to take the plant from harvest through to the magical indigo blue colour. Indigo dye traditions Clothes dyed with natural indigo have such a rich and varied history (Indigo dye and its origins blog).  It is possible to find these rich blue colours in anything from the samurai protective under clothing, African indigo dyed textiles through to boiler suits and even the ubiquitous denim.  It has even been found in an Egyptian pharaoh’s tomb!  These days most clothes are dyed using synthetic indigo dyes, first discovered in Germany before the first world war. Did you know that indigo dye comes from a plant? Natural indigo comes from a plant, the indigofera which is grown in sub-tropical climates.  It is possible to grow it here in the UK but not on a commercial level, woad is more suited to this climate.   Any visitors who came to see me at Childwickbury Arts Fair last summer would have also been able to see my Japanese indigo plant that I grew at my home.  It looks a bit like a basil plant and is also an annual with a long growing season. Making it hard to cultivate in the UK and Europe. Be wary of planting in the ground as the type of indigo that grows well in the UK is a relation of Japanese knotweed, so it can spread, but frosts will kill it so don’t panic. Indian Indigo – It loves sun and is more naturally found in countries like India, Bangladesh and some central and southern American countries.  Has smaller leaves compared to the Japanese indigo. It has beautiful fuchsia like flowers. Indigo dye is extracted from the leaves of the plant.  In all species the …