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Indigo, the colour between blue and violet in the spectrum, the colour both of ceremonies and our ubiquitous blue jeans. What is so special about it? Where does it come from? Why was it known as “The Devil’s dye”?
A brief history with examples from many traditions, bringing us up to the discovery of the aniline dyes one hundred years ago, and beyond.
Clarissa’s relationship with indigo goes back to the 60’s, when she was introduced to it as a Pre-Diploma art student by Susan Bosence. Since then she has pursued her interest in painting and in costume. She trained as an art therapist, while maintaining a fascination with textiles. A talk at the Cambridge Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, by Jenny Balfour-Paul inspired her to resume indigo-dyeing, and to make pictures using the fabrics she had dyed, and find a way to share ways of dyeing with indigo by running workshops, which she has now done for many years. She specialises in Japanese shibori – a magical way of transforming fabric.