The Indigo color of our scarves and shawls comes from nature. This paint is extracted from the indigo plants in a biologically responsible manner using age-old techniques. The fields with these dye plants are located near the fields where our fabrics are woven. All actions are carried out with respect and attention to nature.
We travel throughout Thailand to purchase the scarves from The Happy Scarf. We visit small agricultural communities whose inhabitants live close to nature. And use raw materials and techniques that are passed on from generation to generation. Our weavers told us how they make the indigo dye.
How our weavers make indigo dye
We are happy to share what they taught us with you. We explain below how they make the indigo dye for our scarves in a sustainable way.
At the houses of our weavers are large barrels that are used to make dyes. How this works was explained to us in broken English. After we have written everything down in chronological order, the puzzle is complete for us.
- When the land is prepared, the indigo seeds are planted.
- Then it takes three or four months before the plant is fully grown and its green leaves have enough dye.
After the harvest
- The plants are cut down and soaked in large vats filled with water and red mud. The mud will soon absorb the dye. So that the paint can be kept longer.
- This mixture is stirred regularly.
- After 24 hours, the leaves are removed from the barrel.
- After that, the blue color needs another two to three days to sink to the bottom of the barrel in the mud of clay.
- Once this is done, the water is removed. Because only natural resources are used, the water can be discharged onto the land near the village without causing any damage.
- In the end, a thick blue paste remains. That is the indigo dye can be preserved.
To dye the yarn, this blue paste is mixed with alkaline or basic water (soft water with a pH value higher than 7). Oxygen is added to this mixture so that the blue water oxidizes so that the color fixes as much as possible.
- The yarn is washed several times in this blue water. Two to three times for a light or medium blue color. The dark blue yarn has been dipped in the blue dye six times.
- One step is still missing in this process. Because to fix the colors and make the yarn extra soft and supple, it is cooked beforehand in a special spice mixture. The composition of this mix is a well-kept secret. The secret of the house.