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Home Design with Kevin Sharkey

On my Bookshelf: Indigo: The Color that Changed the World

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Indigo 9780500516607

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.

Skirt panels drying under the awning of a house in the Bouyi village of Shitou Zhai.Photo credit: Catherine Legrand

Skirt panels drying under the awning of a house in the Bouyi village of Shitou Zhai.
Photo credit: Catherine Legrand

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.


Photo credit: Catherine Legrand

$40, Thames and Hudson

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Comments (1)

  • Greetings from London. A beautiful book Friday!
    Love indigo color! I am sure my daughter will love this book, I can imagine it to be a visual inspiration since she studied textile and design when in school.
    Wish you a wonderful weekend!

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