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What are indigo dyes and how are they made?


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Wiki User
2008-02-26 22:30:40
2008-02-26 22:30:40

Indigo is a distince blue color, and the dyes have a long history of manufacture and use. Certainly there are synthetically manufactured today as opposed to being made with Indigo tinctoria and I. suifruticosa and other legumes as they were "back in the day" when they were first being used. Links are provided to a couple of articles posted by our friends at Wikipedia, where knowledge is free.

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Today, synthetic dyes are made from petroleum and coal products. However, plants, such as the indigo plant, was used once to dye materials and clothes. Synthetic dyes are cheaper to make than dyes from plants.

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Pigments that are made from plants and plant dyes are considered to be natural. Some examples are indigo, ultrmarine, ochres, and some reds and yellows.

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Indigo is a plant that dyes fabric blue. Eliza Lucas Pinckney developed indigo as an important cash crop for South Carolina starting in 1739.

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Indigo, which was used to make dyes for clothing, , was brought to the southern colonies of British North America and made profitable by Eliza Luckas Pinckney in the middle eighteenth century. Indigo, an indigenous commodity of the Middle East and South Asia, was brought to South Carolina by Pinckney, but had been cultivated in the New World at much earlier dates. Pinckey's significant contribution came in establishing a production that allowed indigo to be cultivated and produced into dyes en masse. Like contemporary plantations of the American southern colonies, indigo was cultivated with slave labor.

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Indigo dye is an organic compound with a distinctive blue color extracted from plants, and this process was important economically because blue dyes were once rare.


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