“Natural indigo dye”: the traditional natural indigo dyeing technique from Japan
Popular in Japan long time ago for children’s underwear, the indigo dye was traditionally used for its distinctive shine and for its colors, not imparting easily on other clothes. Since ancient times, the indigo leaf has also been said to be effective as insect repellent and for detoxification.
Usually only used for cloth, the indigo dye has been used to create this special edition of the Real Wood case.
The raw material to create the Awa indigo, the “dyer’s knotweed”, is an annual plant that has been cultivated mainly in fields or basins of the Yoshino River in Tokushima today.
The process to create the dye is traditional and takes 100 days to complete. The indigo leaves (Sukumo) are dissolved with wood ashes in big tanks and fermented with potatoes, lime, wheat bran and alcohol. With its 4 seasons, Japan is the only country able to produce the dye all year long.
The “Real Wood Case Natural Indigo dye” is produced at the “Indigo dye Yano” factory in Awa, using this special traditional technique.
The dyer’s knotweed was prohibited during World War due to the need to relocate the resources to increase food production. The flower being annual, the 1200 years story of the Japanese dye could have stopped then.
However, Heisuke Sato, 17th generation dyer, escaped from the military police and kept cultivating the dyer’s knotweed secretly in the mountain, allowing the technique to survive. There are only 4 farmers in Awa, producing sukumo now.
The Sato indigo factory is the one used to create the Real Wood Case Natural Indigo dye, as providing the best quality of flowers and technique, ensuring a perfect color to our products.