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Chakra It to Me: Indigo

Is there another color linked more iconically to fabric than indigo? We think not. This rich hue, long associated with denim (especially Japanese varieties), is a huge favorite of ours for its depth, intrigue, and slight yellow undertone, which makes it ripe for striking pairing possibilities.

Natural indigo dye is derived, in a multistep process that has remained largely unchanged for thousands of years, from tropical plants in the genus Indigofera. A series of stepped tanks are set up, and the freshly clipped plants are placed in the top tank. They’re fermented, along with the enzyme indimulsin, during which the glycoside indican (the dye precursor) is broken down into indoxyl and glucose. About 14 hours later, the resulting liquid is drained into the second tank and stirred. The indoxyl then oxidizes into indigotin (the concentrated pigment), which settles to the bottom of the tank. The top layer of liquid is removed and the pigment is poured into another tank, where heat is applied to halt the fermentation process. Finally, the mixture is filtered to remove impurities and allowed to dry into a powder.

Indigo is one of the world’s oldest dyes and was first produced in earnest in India. From there is spread to Greece and Rome, where royals paid top dollar for this luxury product. It has long been considered a symbol of trust, truthfulness, and stability, and it’s related to the sixth chakra, which governs the third eye—the center of intuition, mysticism, and understanding. The energy of this color is thought to connect us to our unconscious self and enhance all sorts of cool stuff like imagination, psychic powers, and dream activity. So we say, splash it liberally around the house and enjoy. Because who couldn’t use a little more imagination and dreaming?

 

 

  1. Indigo bunting (bird)
  2. Pine Cone Hill Infinity Navy tea towel
  3. Pine Cone Hill Resist Stripe decorative pillow
  4. Dash & Albert Two-Tone Rope Navy/Ivory rug
  5. Art print: Unknown
  6. Pine Cone Hill Candlewick Ink throw
  7. Dash & Albert Mahkeenac Outdoor Chair Navy
  8. Pine Cone Hill Granulation scarf
  9. mushroom
  10. Pine Cone Hill Resist Dot coverlet and sham
  11. bowl of powder

 

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4 comments

Mary April 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Indigo has been “the new black” in my wardrobe for the last year or two. I love it.
And while I haven’t quite gotten around to using it around my own house (yet), I think I would love to see an indigo velvet sofa in just about any space, be it mine or others’ …
Peace ~
Mary

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Kelly April 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

I would love to know what color you would paint the walls in your home if decorating w/ indigo and cream furnishings??

Reply
Mary April 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Depending on the size of the room and the light quality, I’d go right ahead and use a bright idigo on the walls (or a wall), something between #1 and #11 above, and add a clear glossy top coat to give it lots of life. Then lots of bright metallics, along with the cream furnishings.

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Mary April 24, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I’m sure there are lots of great (better) ideas out there, that’s just one I’ve always wanted to try.

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