NATURAL INDIGO – Organic cultivation in Provence
A natural Indigo prepared from fresh leaves of Polygonum tinctorium Aiton, also named Persicaria tinctoria (Aiton) Spach, manufactured in Provence, France by Laura & Amandine (company Le Champ des Couleurs) under organic & sustainable farming.
Main components : indigotin.
Textile dyeing : the indigo dye provides ranges of blue shades, from very clear to dark, with good lightfastness and washfastness. Its use in textile needs to turn it from an oxidized state (blue pigment, insoluble) to a reduced state (greenish yellow pigment, soluble) which will allow to fix on fibers before being again oxidized (by the oxygen of air – a magic step that develops the blue color). These reactions can be processed in natural vats by using our fructose syrup and hydrated lime for instance (or iron, henna or reducing fruits natural vats) or by using a chemical reducing agent (sodium hydrosulphite or thiourea).
Instructions and downloads : Preparation of indigo vats & dyeing instructions, advanced information on indigo natural vats (only in French, sorry).
The indigo can be easily combined with other dye extracts (yellow, red for example) to widen the pallet of shades (green, purple…).
Paintings, decoration, fine arts : the indigo is then directly used as a natural pigment, after homogenizing into the selected binder or medium.
Other uses : cabinetmaking, ink.
The plant :
Polygonum tinctorium Aiton is an annual herbaceous species of 40 to 80 cm height.
This species originating from Asia was extensively grown for the manufacture of natural indigo in tropical areas of China, Vietnam and Japan where it is still used for traditional textiles.
It was introduced into several countries in Europe where it is well acclimated and grown.