This amazing book recently found its way into my possession, and I can’t rave about it enough. The deep blue patterned cover was what initially caught my eye, but as soon as I rifled through it, I was drawn to the fascinating information inside. Not only are the colors and images breathtaking, but the author, Catherine Legrand, explores a range of remarkable people, garments, and stories.
The book documents the old world process of indigo dying, a technique with origins in Japan and South America. Although the lengthy process of creating indigo has largely been replaced with synthetic dyes today, Legrand traveled around the world to find those who still use traditional methods of indigo production, and tracked both its history and contemporary iterations. She details the cultivation of the plant, the process of extracting pigments, and varying dying methods from Japan, China, India, Africa, Central America, Laos, and Vietnam. She has spent more than 20 years traveling and researching the production of indigo textiles around the world and uses her book to tell the story of our emotional attachment to garments and deep connection to color and craft.
$40, Thames and Hudson