Indigo dyeing ~ Part 3. What is the difference between natural indigo and synthetic indigo? ~

The quest for indigo dyeing continues!

Today, I would like to talk about the difference between the natural indigo that Pint! is currently working on with Mr. Saka, a craftsman, and the so-called synthetic indigo.

I often hear about indigo, but I wondered what the difference was between natural indigo and synthetic indigo.

The history of indigo dyeing is very old, and it is said that mummies more than 5000 years ago in Egypt were wearing indigo cloth. It is very interesting that different ethnic groups used indigo dyeing in their own culture not only in Egypt but all over the world.

About 100 years ago, in 1883, A. Bayer (Germany) announced that the chemical structure of this beautiful blue color (indigo) was determined after 18 years of synthetic research, and his achievements were recognized in 1905. ) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

With this chemical structural formula determination, the dye chemical industry received the tailwind of the industrial revolution and accelerated at once.

In 1897 (Meiji 30), exports of natural indigo from India, which was a British colony, amounted to 10,000 tons, and only 600 tons from Germany.

When this synthetic indigo was produced, India's exports of natural indigo plummeted to 860 tons (9,140 tons↓) in 1911 (Meiji 44), while Germany's synthetic indigo exports surged to 22,000 tons.

Synthetic indigo is cheap and can be mass-produced, so it has become more efficient and is used in many things.

Synthetic indigo, also known as pure indigo, refers to indigo that has been chemically refined and has a high degree of purity.

For this reason, natural indigo, which takes time and is unstable in quantity and contains many impurities, is steadily declining.

About 100 years after the discovery of indigo, synthetic indigo is used in daily necessities as a matter of course in our modern lives.

When I saw the natural indigo blue on the tenugui hand towel I received from the craftsman, I felt that it was clearly different from the synthetic indigo blue, and I stared at it.

I wondered why this deep blue color.

The difference was "impurities". Indeed, both natural indigo and synthetic indigo have been proven to contain the same blue, since the peaks containing indigo match when using absorbance measurements to determine specific colors.

However, the "impurities" that are unique to natural indigo are the secret of natural beauty that cannot be produced by machines or chemical synthesis.

This impurity causes various reactions under various conditions. A unique blue is created by mixing various colors such as indigo brown, indigo blue, and indirubin.

Unlike synthetic indigo, natural indigo is not a single component, but a mixture of multiple components containing impurities.

Mr. Saka, a natural indigo craftsman, said, "There are many colors in this blue, so it is easy to match with any color."

That's why when I coordinated with indigo dyeing items, I realized that this is the reason why it's easy to match with most colors.

I was convinced that this "impurity" has a warmth and depth that the human eye can perceive.

Pint! is a product brand that always considers the essence and depth of each item.

We will continue to work on many products together with the craftsmen and users, so please support us.

The report is still on...

A limited number of tie-dyed handkerchiefs dyed with genuine indigo by Ms. Yukari Saka are now on sale.
Pint! Indigo Dyed Organic Linen Handkerchief Hotaru