From Color to Cut: The Science Behind a Pair of Levi’s

Before a new line of Levi’s indigo blue jeans appears in a store, Bart Sights and his team at the Levi’s Eureka Lab have worked hard to perfect the perfect pair. The New York Times writes: “Natural indigo is finicky, and for the jeans Levi’s produces on a mass scale, the company uses primarily synthetic, the industry norm. These kettles of dye, with their rich fish-sauce stink, are mostly kept around as inspiration, a link to a previous era that, given Levi’s role in the early years of denim jeans (“waist overalls,” as they were originally known), is a constant … Read more

Hints & Tips for Natural Dyers: How to Minimize Indigo Crocking

1. It’s supposed to rub off. That’s why blue jeans fade. 2. Certain cultures attribute indigo crocking to its authenticity and prize the way that excess indigo comes off on the hands or body. I found a description from Duncan Clarke  of Adire African Textiles on how West African cultures dye and prepare indigo cloth: “After the dyed cloth had dried it was customary to beat the fabric repeatedly with wooden beaters, which both pressed the fabric and imparted a shiny glaze. In some areas additional indigo paste was beaten into the cloth at this stage, subsequently rubbing off on … Read more