VIDEO: A Dyeing Life

The New York Times writes about Han Shan, who “disillusioned with China’s urban dream” as a young man set off on a 15-year walk and rediscovered his family’s ethnic Miao traditions. So touching. To get your own blue hands and to discover the wonders of turning cloth a new hue of indigo, go here.

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

Plant Dyes Find Home in Chintz

The New York Times writes: Among the 200 objects in “The Fabric of India” exhibition on display through January at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is a vast chintz tent used by the renowned 17th-century Deccan ruler Tipu Sultan. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the European craze for such Indian chintz, printed cotton fabric with a glazed finish, prompted several governments to tax and even ban imports. Eventually, Europeans began making the fabric themselves. And the Indian industry declined — its skilled, labor- intensive techniques utilizing woodblock printing and meticulous hand painting of floral motifs … Read more

The Top 5 Natural Dye Stories That Had You Clicking

This week, we took a look to see what the stories were on our Facebook and Twitter feeds that had you clicking through. Here are the top 5 that had some resonance with you! Easy and Fun DIY Indigo Dyed Easter Eggs on Botanical Colors Easter is coming and why go and buy the same toxic egg-coloring kit when we’ve created a fun and easy DIY indigo Easter egg instructional for you to have fun with?! Instructions and pretty images here. Old Ways Prove Hard to Shed, Even as Crisis Hits Kimono Trade on the New York Times “Dorozome,” or … Read more

For Tiina Laakkonen and the Elder Statesman, Blue Is the Warmest Color

“As anyone familiar with her styling work, her Amagansett, N.Y., boutique, Tiina, or her nearby home already knows, Tiina Laakkonen really, really loves indigo. “Blue is my favorite color and indigo is the most natural, alive version of it,” she says. “I used to live in black clothes when I lived in New York, but they seem too hard in both the light and the life out East.” Now, Laakkonen has teamed up with one of the designers whose work she carries in her store, Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman, to create limited editions of four Elder Statesman styles in her signature … Read more