Hands with indigo by RéhahnPrecious Heritage Art Gallery Museum
The history of indigo
The humid climate in Southeast-East Asia makes it difficult to trace the history of indigo dye use in Vietnam, due to the disintegration of ancient textiles; however, historians believe that the technique for this natural coloring method dates back to Medieval times.
The Red Dao by RéhahnPrecious Heritage Art Gallery Museum
Many of Vietnam’s various ethnic groups continue to practice traditional methods of transforming indigofera plants into a deep blue dye, in order to tint their garments.
For some tribes, the shade of indigo is extremely important - the deeper the tone, the finer the cloth.
From turquoise to a blue that is almost black, the hands of indigo artisans take on the same tones as their textiles.
Many tribes no longer create their own textiles, choosing instead to purchase either factory-made fabrics or garments made by other groups.
The process of creating indigo textiles is time-consuming
First, the leaves of the Indigofera plant are fermented with various liquids such as lye or rice wine.
Drying The Fabric by RéhahnPrecious Heritage Art Gallery Museum
After the fermentation process is finished, the leaves are dried and then ground into powder or paste to create a concentrated color for the dye.
The cloth must be repeatedly dipped and dried, every day for a month to get the correct depth of color.
Natural indigo dye, in comparison to synthetics, is sustainable.
Fertilizer can be created from the plants after the color is extracted, and the water can be used for crops
View Réhahn's Travels into the Land of Indigo
Playing with indigo by RéhahnPrecious Heritage Art Gallery Museum