Indigo dye is often used for dyeing cotton denim through multiple dye baths to deepen the indigo shade.


Indigo dye was historically extracted from the leaves of the indigofera tinctoria, a plant that produces a colorless compound that is soluble in water. The compound turns blue when fermented and exposed to the air. Today, most of the indigo used in the clothing industry is synthetic.

Synthetic indigo dye is chemically identical to the compound extracted from its plant predecessor. This Leuco-Dye is predominantly used for dyeing cotton denims. The dyeing requires multiple dye baths in which the material is dipped, then removed to oxidize (turn from greenish to blue) and then dipped again to deepen the indigo shade.

What’s Next

We continue to investigate the best and most sustainable options for indigo, both natural and synthetic.

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