I had a customer the other day who bought a beautiful striped t-shirt from Levi's Vintage Clothing. When I told him it was indigo-dyed he looked at me as if I was talking jibberish.
So I thought I'd explain the basics on what we mean when we say indigo.
The word Indigo comes from the Roman indicum and means product of India, which is probably from where the first indigo-coloured fabrics came to Europe, once the trade-routes with Asia became established. However artefacts found in northern Africa indicate that Indigo was used to dye fabric as early as 1600 BC. Indigo dye was originally extracted from the leaves of the Indigofera Tinctoria plant (yes, that's the origin of the brand name Indigofera). The extracted deep blue (almost violet) colour is unique in its ability to colour only the surface of a fabric, leaving the inner layers uncoloured. It also fades with time and wear creating the characteristic worn look you get on a pair of worn-in raw jeans. Back in the early days of denim all denim-fabric was coloured with natural indigo.
So what an indigo-dye does to a garment is not only to give it the beautiful deep blue colour but also gives its wearer the possibility to make the garment his own by wearing it, creating his or her personal wash.
Here are a few examples of indigo-dyed clothing which we have in stock at the moment.