For a long time, dark blue has been my favourite colour to decorate with. Specifically, indigo. Not quite navy, not royal blue, but this gorgeous, inky colour that feels rich and vibrant and just the right tone of blue. It’s classic yet modern, perfect whether you’re living in a coastal home or somewhere more leafy or urban, indigo just works.

My background is in art history, part of this was learning how colour came about and how the use of colour has changed over time. Indigo has a rich history with its origins in Japan. Not the indigo that we dye our jeans with, this is chemical based, real indigo dye comes from a plant grown in Tokushima and originate from the 1600’s in samurai times. By dying with this plant dye clothes became more resistant and even antibacterial.

To this day there are only 5 growers of this plant left in Japan. The process of harvesting the dye is long and arduous, taking up to 12 months per batch. Fabric dyers then can then take up to 10 days to dye just one garment. This is why natural indigo fabric is so expensive. The vibrancy of the colour is so different to the chemical dyes. Plus, chemically dyed fabrics fade over time, naturally dyed indigo gets more beautiful over time.

We see natural indigo fabrics in interior design through wall hangings, sparse use of fabric such as Shibori cushions, Ombre throws, or even a framed piece of art/cloth with a beautiful print design.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s one of my favourite Facebook pages, Great Big Story, where recently they talked about the history if indigo:

NOTE: Images used under Fair Use, and the above commentary is a personal view and not commercial in nature, and were sourced from a variety of online sources and personal archives.

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