Floral Indigo Panel
This Japanese indigo panel was made in the early 20th century. Indigo is a very popular dye because of the range of colors it is capable of producing and because of its color fastness. Indigo-bearing plants grow in Central America, the southern portion of the United States, the northern and eastern regions of South America, most of the Africa continent, most of Europe, the Arabian coast, and much of the Middle East, India, China, Japan, and Indonesia. Everywhere it grows, people have discovered how to extract the beautiful colors it is capable of producing.
Unlike most other dyes, indigo does not need a mordant. Dyers dip yarn or textiles into indigo dye vats to slowly build up layers to produce the desired color: anything from light blue to black. This process has easily lent itself to creating textiles composed of various shades of blue on white. Japanese indigo dyers have certainly exploited this feature to create beautiful textiles using a variety of resist techniques to either create starkly contrasting blue on white designs or more subtle patterns using gradients of blue on white or even dark blue on light blue.
This example showcases the precise patterns that dyers can achieve with resist techniques. This textile is decorated with flowers and butterflies, each made up of many small almost jewel-like white geometric shapes.
Circa: 20th century
Dimensions: 56" x 73.75"
Inventory number: TX4606