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Books - Indigo Dyeing

by Jenny Balfour-Paul

Indigo tells the compelling and comprehensive story of the world's oldest, most magical, and best-loved dye. Produced from plants by a process akin to alchemy, indigo has a unique chemistry that renders it compatible with all natural fibre. From the time of the ancient Pharaohs it made an incredible impact worldwide as the world's only source of blue of every hue, being the mark both of ‘blue-collar workers' and of aristocrats wearing ‘royal blue'. It was also indispensable for creating a glorious range of colours in combination with other natural dyes, it provided paint and medicine, and it featured in many rituals. Its fascinating history continued after the invention of synthetic indigo, used to dye the world's most popular garment, denim jeans. For environmental reasons, indigo from nature is making a comeback today in many countries.

Jenny Balfour-Paul, renowned authority on indigo, has been publishing, lecturing, exhibiting and broadcasting on indigo and related subjects for over twenty years. In 2007, she was the consultant curator for the Whitworth Art Gallery's major touring exhibition 'Indigo: A Blue to Dye for'. An Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, she continues to travel extensively in pursuit of her research projects and has considerable practical experience with indigo plants and dyestuff.

Debbie says: "Jenny is a recognised expert in the field of indigo dyeing and this book is an in-depth look at the history of this magical dyestuff. The book is not a 'how-to' manual, rather it is a detailed history of the rise and fall of indigo, its use throughout the world, sources of indigo and how it has shaped textile dyeing down the ages. Lots of colour illustrations and a wealth of fascinating information!".

Hardback, 272 Pages, more than 250 colour and half tone illustrations

Price: £42.50 [item code BK019]

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Indigo by Jenny Balfour-Paul

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[All images and text © Debbie Tomkies and Peter Tomkies 2010]