Indigofera Tinctoria – Our 100% natural premium quality blue Indigo is a sublime blue dye with many creative uses. This True Indigo, otherwise know as the King of Blue or Blue Gold, is fully natural and 100% pure and it is made using traditional artisanal production totally without chemicals: Use it to dye textiles including resit printing, tie-dye, batik and shibori, for dyeing leather and wood. Indigo is used to colour soap, make home-made make up, cosmetics, sunscreen, skin lighteners, bespoke hair dye, hair growth treatments, hair bluing, body art and temporary tattoos. In crafts, indigo is used as a pigment for printing, as an ingredient for making paints or to make natural ink.– making it ideal for use in cosmetics but more so for museums, conservators and reenactors who are looking for authentic indigo made in the traditional way.
What is Natural Blue Indigo?
Indigo is an ancient dye derived from the leaves and stems of the Indigo tinctorial plant and its global use can be traced back for 1000s of years. Blue is one of nature’s rarest and prized colours. We supply indigo in block or powdered form.
Uses of Indigo in Natural Cosmetics
For any cosmetic applications, do a skin patch test first.
Add one teaspoon to water or lye depending on your recipe.
Use in recipes for eye shadow, eye liner, nail varnish etc.
Use as an ingredient in natural sunscreens.
Skin Whitening / Lightening
Use in recipes to combat melasma, hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
Use in recipes for dyeing blonde or white hair blue or for dyeing brown hair dark brown or black – Please note we sell less valuable ‘green’ Indian Indigo for use as hair dye too which works out much more economical for hair dyeing. Our Indian indigo is the dried leaf and unlike out blue indigo power, it has not been cured and fermented.
Promotes Hair growth and strength, helps to reduce hair loss and greying.
Blue Rinse for Hair
Grey hair often contains yellow tones – a blue rinse counters these tones and makes the hair look blue-grey.
Create temporary tattoos and body art with blue indigo (we have pure henna too)
Indigo as a Dye and Stain for Arts and Crafts
Indigo can be used alone to give a distinctive blue or combine with other botanical dyes to create purples and greens. By varying the number of times the textile is dipped in the indigo vat, either light, medium or dark indigo blues are obtained. Indigo is the traditional vat dye used on blue jeans and is used to dye wool, cotton, linen or silk. Indigo dye can be used in the batik method because the vat is kept at a low temperature and does not melt the wax and indigo is essential for the shibori technique. Originally blue jeans were dyed with True Indigo, but nowadays more often than not, highly polluting synthetic alternatives are used.
Colouring Horn, Bone and Shell
Add pigment to lime paints for decorating walls and ceilings.
Make authentic, tempera or water colour paints or crayons with blue indigo.
Both Chinese Ink and India ink are made from indigo.
‘Blu’ paper in the traditional way with indigo
Whiten your whites with indigo. Indigo is the original laundry bluing. Over time bleached white textile take on a yellow tinge, especially when washed with hard water. Use bluing as a natural optical enhancer to whiten whites.
Please be prepared to find and test your own recipes!
How Natural Spa Supplies Blue Indigo is Made
Harvesting takes place through the summer from June until September as individual ripened leaves are collected. After harvesting, the plant is washed to remove soil, at this stage already, the purity of the indigo is notably increased. The leaves are crushed into a pulp with a stone mill, and the paste is then gradually dried in a barn until it is judged ready to roll by hand into fist sized balls, known as ‘cocagnes’. The cocagnes are placed on racks in the curing barn to cure again and to continue drying for between one and two months. At the end of this curing process, the cocagnes are known as ‘pastel de Cocagne’
Finally, to prepare the dye, the balls are crushed into a powder which is mixed with water and goat and camel urine for the main fermentation in which the purity of the dye will be enhanced further! The mixture is agitated to control the temperature and to bring about a permanent change. The pigmented sediment is allowed to dry again and then it is broken into blocks or cubes. At this point the cubes can be powdered again. By using these ‘slow’ and traditional methods, it means that no caustic chemicals are used in the production of our indigo and that it is safe for use on the skin and hair. Eventually the indigo is allowed to form a sediment and dried.
Indigotin is insolubale in water, so an alkaline and reducing agent is added to the dye vat containing the blue indigo powder to reduce the indigotin (removing one oxygen molecule). The fibres can absorb the indigo while it is in the reduced state and when the dyed fibre is exposed to the air, the indigo white oxidizes and turns blue and insoluble again.
Shelf Life of Natural Blue Indigo Powder
If stored under optimal conditions, the shelf life is 10 years.
Depending on the quantity ordered, we supply the indigo in paper or glass jars.
Our indigo is made for Natural Spa Supplies in Morocco using time honoured methods. This is the genuine Indigo – which has been fermented in goat and camel urine! We have carried on this method not just to preserve human heritage but because in this way, we can obtain the purest indigo powder without the use of industrial chemicals.
While the production level is too small to gain organic status and the indigo plant does not need fertilizers or chemical treatments, in fact indigo plants are leguminous and use soil bacteria to fix nitrogen from the air. In that way indigo planting leaves the soil enriched with nutrients to help other crops to grow well. Indigo plants are used in interplanting and intercropping schemes as well as a cover crop to enrich the soil.