Indigo | Neela | नील
Indigo color is the first known natural dye to humans, it is derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria. The leaves of Indigofera are harvested and allowed to ferment in water in large vessels or tanks. A day or two after complete fermentation the liquid is drained from the vessels leaving the plant material/leaves behind. The fermented liquid contains indoxyl. Continous stirring induces oxidation in indoxyl, and the indigo sludge settles in the bottom of the vessel/tank leaving behind a yellowish water. The sludge is then sundried to make Cakes. The cakes are then used to dye the fabric of choice.
If you have read my earlier posts, you must have noticed my love for free-flowing cotton clothing. In today’s times when everyone is fascinated by the mass-produced synthetic dyes, there are a few make in India brands that promote slow fashion.
The entire outfit is from Jaypore, that curates India’s finest craft-based designs. Jaypore has opened its first brick and mortar store in Delhi. This is what Jaypore says about their journey “India wears her beauty in the colorful textiles, breathtaking ornaments and inspiring stories that come alive in her streets. There is magic in the hands that work the loom, in the eyes that pore over a needle, in the brushstrokes that paint life. And yet few things can sum it all up, can capture the essence in a box. At Jaypore, we have begun a fascinating journey, a humble attempt to bring India a little closer to the world. Dedicated to creating a unique interpretation of age-old crafts, we partner with artisanal communities, textile designers, independent artists (and the occasional maverick) to showcase a new, contemporary design language that comes from India and belongs everywhere on the globe. We believe in sharing stories and celebrating how each handmade object can come to represent something much bigger than itself. Traveling to the colorful corners of this fascinating country, we curate unique and exclusive collections that represent India’s finest craft-based designs, so that you can savor the delightful treasures at leisure, with us. Immerse yourself in the beauty of India. Shop for handmade sarees, dupattas, jewelry, shawls, home decor, art and more.”
The neckpiece is from Quills & Spills, another desi brand – is the brainchild of Ms. Kavitha, who is a Chartered Accountant by profession but a hand-made jewelry maker by passion.
The same Indigo cape that I paired up with a white cotton kurta.
Now, this Indigo outfit is from one of my favorite brands – Khara Kapas. As the name suggests it means pure cotton’ in Hindi, and this what they say about themselves – “We firmly believe in the versatility of cotton variants and Indian handloom and try to do our part in promoting fair trade by working closely with artisans and weavers across the country to preserve the rich heritage and craft reservoir of India. Small weavers are the cornerstones of our business; their immense skillset is valuable as none of our products would be possible without their contribution. Our design philosophy revolves around the idea of minimalism, clean cuts, and relaxed silhouettes, in pure fabrics, earthy tones and simple Indian motifs for prints. Handcrafted from scratch, each garment is a result of endless days of hard work that a team of weavers, dyers, craftsmen, and tailors put in for one finished product”.
I have been asked this many times, all these brands are very expensive then why not settle for cheaper ones? The answer is very simple, I rather settle for quality over quantity. I have washed, worn and rewashed all these outfits innumerable times, and every single one of them is as good as new. None of these fall into the category of fast fashion where the outfit wears out after a couple of washes and you feel the need to replace them with new ones (eventually the cost of buying, again and again, comes up to the quality investment of one).
All my indigo’s are still blue and all the whites are still pristine. And the quirky brooch is from Quirksmith
Earrings and nosepin – Jaypore
If you are a cotton lover like me and looking out for some desi Indian brands, this post should help you in making a list of your own. I’ll soon post a new travel update. till then enjoy reading 🙂
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