What are Indigo Fabrics and why do they bleed?

What are Indigo Fabrics and why do they bleed?

If you purchased a beautiful Indigo dress but watched the colour turn blue – yikes. Wondering why it happened? Read on

One of the best shades of blue – Indigo was initially produced from the indigofera plant. Currently there are nearly 60 shades of indigofera plant in India, and do they all give the same shade? Not really! The shade and intensity of the blue depends on the weather conditions and the soil nutrients.

We know that India was an exporter of Indigo dyes in the past and that under the British rule; Indian farmers grew and exported Indigo for cheap rates due to the growing demand in the European region. But did you know that India is still the largest exporter of Natural Indigo in the World!

How is the Gorgeous Indigo Fabric Made?

First, let us understand the process of Indigo.

A fabric is first cleansed with water and then soaked for a good amount of time.

Meanwhile, the indigo solution is prepared either in the natural way, by fermentation or it is made synthetically, by mixing the synthetic indigo powder along with water.

The fabric is then dipped into the solution for an indigo colour. In block printing, the carved wooden blocks are stamped onto the fabric.

One beautiful fact about Indigo is that the colour intensifies once it is kept for drying under the sun.

What does this mean? It means that due to oxidation, the indigo colour grows darker and the shades change.

Why do Indigo Fabrics bleed or even fade?

The natural colours fail to form a chemical bond with the fabric and hence when the fabric is washed, the excess colours seem to wash away. It becomes insoluble. They react with air and form tiny passages or spaces on the fabric which becomes prone to fading.

So when you find your favourite indigo dress bleeding blue, understand that it is sometimes natural and can happen.

How to care for Indigo Fabrics?

  1. Wash your Indigo dresses separately. Don’t panic when you see the water turn blue – it is normal for a few washes.
  2. Use a mild detergent and do not soak in the dress for a long period of time.
  3. Dry it in a well-ventilated space. Avoid drying under direct sunlight.

Indigo Dresses are bound to lose colour and it only gives it a natural finish. But isn’t it beautiful to own a dress which simply reminds us of a traditional time.

These dresses are made with love by our artisans, so they deserve to be taken care of, with love, by you.

Anemone Vinkel promises to provide you with beautiful hand block and hand printed dresses that are made with traditional techniques and patterns. We are creating statement pieces that would be a delight to wear, all year long.

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