HALI – Indigo Sutra

IMG_2826-1.jpgThe cultivation of indigo dye across the Indian subcontinent is growing. From 9-12 November last year, an international event on the revival and resurgence of natural indigo—Indigo Sutra—was held in Kolkata. It aimed to ‘create awareness of reviving the cultivation of indigo in Bengal and other places where it had stopped due to political unrest or other reasons and also to encourage the use of natural indigo dyeing using natural methods’. Here, its chief advisor and author of three books on indigo, Jenny Balfour Paul, recounts her experience there, ahead of the making of a Channel 4 news programme on the subject this autumn, which came about as a result.

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Indigo Auction

Calcutta sets the scene for the first auction of indigo in more than a century

Indigo was once so widely used to dye everything from military uniforms to muslin frocks that the roads ran blue with it, as in Rajasthan

Indigo was once so widely used to dye everything from military uniforms to muslin frocks that the roads ran blue with it, as in Rajasthan.

The first auction of indigo in India in more than a century took place yesterday in what planters and buyers hope is a resurgence of interest in one of the world’s oldest trading commodities. Ten chests packed with cakes of the blue dye went under the hammer in Calcutta.

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