Japanese 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 shows how a dyer could use a resist technique and multiple dips into the same dye vat to create a detailed pattern of blue-on-blue with a single dye vat.

Circa: Early 20th century

Origin: Japan

Material: Cotton

Condition: Good

Dimensions: 36.5" x 66"

Inventory number: TX4607



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Inventory #: TX4607 Categories: , ,

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