The hidden history of indigo pigment

I am so glad that we did another seaweed natural dyeing workshop in class, and it really has widened my horizon of how capable natural creation could be. So in Sasha FIsherman’s workshop, I chose egg yolk as my natural binder, and I took a photo right after I added a pinch of the indigo pigment powder which I found the colors and the texture look so great together. The mixture was pretty thick to be honest, I guess I should have added some water into it to make it smoother. Not being what I expected, the color turned out into a seaweed green instead of blue, but I like it a lot because Sasha mentioned this indigo pigment powder is made from seaweed, so the green color actually reminds me of its origin. And the mixture smells like sea and farm haha. Also, I drew some seaweed on my notebook too. 


The fact that seaweed could be made into indigo pigment powder actually surprised me as I always think plants that have sharp colors could be used for natural dyeing. Therefore, I looked up for the history of indigo pigment. In an article “The Hidden Histories of Indigo”, indigo pigment could be traced back to ancient India during the Greco-Roman period in which India started to produce indigo and products of it for international trade. Back then, indigo was rare and expensive. Later in the 6th and 7th centuries, Indigo was introduced to Japan through the silk road. However, the history of indigo could be traced back way back to 221-220 B.C. which is the Qin and Han Dynasties. It is amazing how just a color pigment has a long history and development since thousands of years ago.