Jan 16, 2016

Japan and indigo... a natural combination

One of the beautiful things about living the life of an author and researcher (and photographer) is days like this.

After many months of research and study... and digging through tons of material... and then email after email ... and translations .... and schedules ... I ended up here. At the home and studio of an artist who has revived the tradition of indigo dyeing using only natural materials. No chemicals.

It was such an amazing experience to finally be here... up in the mountains outside Kyoto... in this quiet country town... at the home of a family that have dedicated their lives to textiles.

Indigo is native to Japan and people here have been using this rich plant to dye textiles for centuries. Today most people enhance their indigo dyes with chemicals.

But this visit was to see the real deal...

A special moment indeed.

I took tons of great photos and it was such fun... and such a learning experience. The vats of indigo are essentially alive and must be carefully cared for... stirred multiple times a day. The commitment by the artist to continue this tradition is a rare and precious gift for us all.


  1. That is so cool! I can't wait to see more!

  2. That is fantastic, Teresa! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. Teresa, that last comment is mine. Don't know why I'm suddenly "unknown" to Google! ha!