The age-old Indigo print textiles have been an intricate part of Indian ethnic wear fashion for hundreds of years. The iridescent beauty of Indigo has made it a timeless staple, and its versatile nature has given it a repute of being a fashion designer’s dream textile to work on.
The beauty of Indigo is one that we can go on talking about. So, before we present an Indigo blue clothing staple lookbook, let us share with you the rich heritage of Indigo and help you understand the long and human-intensive process of Indigo prints.
Brief History of Indigo
While the early archaeological finds traces of Indigo some 6000 years ago in Egypt and India, some believe that the history of Indigo goes back to as early as the Neolithic age. Traditionally, the signature blue, indigo coloured dye was obtained by fermenting the leaves of the plant named Indigofera Tinctoria.
A highly-complex process of making natural Indigo colour paved the way to the introduction of man-made indigo in the mid-1800s which could replicate the finesse and the beauty of the natural indigo.
The Rajasthan Connection: A hub for Indigo prints
As discussed, the time-consuming and labour-intensive process led to the synthetic dyes to come into play but, there is one place in India where the artisans have preserved the art of creating natural indigo dyes.
Rajasthan, a hub of traditional Indian textiles and handlooms, is also home to indigo dyes and printing, where artisans have been passing on this craft for generations, truly encapsulating its beauty and spirit.
Process of Indigo hand block printing
The first part of the Indigo clothing printing is to create the dyes. After the indigo dyes are obtained, the fabric is dyed once or multiple times to get the desired colour.
However, in Rajasthan, dabu printing is one of the most popular forms of Indigo prints.
Under this, before the cloth is dyed in indigo, mud resist is applied to the fabric using the hand-carved wooden blocks, so that after dyeing the fabric, the hand -block printing part of the fabric remains white while all the other parts get their indigo hues.
After the initial stages of dyeing and washing, the areas that need to stay white are left and the prints that need to be coloured in various hues of indigo are dyed multiple times till the required colour is obtained.
Why Indigo should be Your Summer Wardrobe Favorite?
One, the Indigo comes in many hues of blue, making it perfect for the summer months when you want to try out bright, cool colours.
To illustrate, check out the indigo dress and the top below. This oversized silhouette top is a Prussian blue with stunning jal print while the dress is denim blue colour with intricate dabu print to give it a more vibrant and cooler look.
Second, the indigo prints are mostly done on cotton fabrics which are perfect for the hot season as they are breezy and relaxing.
Third, the denim colour of indigo makes it an ideal choice for all your casual dressing moods. Be it for every day college/office, a casual brunch with friends, or a movie date with bae, you can never go wrong with indigo prints.
Lastly, Indigo has been a part of our traditional textile artforms and for years, many artisans have been practising this intricate craft to preserve its beauty, making it a labour of love that you should indulge into and embrace.
Our Guide to Including The Classic Indigo in Your Wardrobe
Ratan Jaipur’s Neelanchal collection is dedicated to indigo and features a bewitching shade of blue. Under this collection, our artisans have used the ancient mud resist hand block printing technique also known as Dabu print, to create beautiful blue dresses, kurtas, dupattas, and more.
Let us quickly take you through the ultimate indigo-featuring summer style looks:
1. Denim Blue Cotton Dress
This calf-length cotton denim dress is absolutely chic for workwear as well as casual college look and will totally elevate your overall look. It features stunning jaal print, a statement belt for that extra style quotient and the mandarin neckline just gives it a sophisticated look.
Style tip: Pair this denim dress with white canvas shoes and a sling bag for that girl-next-door look.
2. Denim Coloured Kurtas
Kurtas are everyday classics that you can wear to work, informal lunches, and any other casual outings. And, Indigo print Kurtis can just notch up your everyday style with just the right dash of elegance.
Tailored to perfection, this straight long kurta is super comfortable and its striking yoke featuring minute thread work elevates its overall appeal, giving it a beautiful feel.
On the other hand, this another gorgeous kurta with overall jaal print from our indigo collection is like a summer paradise. It is as relaxed in feel as it looks and the straight fit of the Kurti makes it a good choice for all your casual hang out dates, meetings, and everything in between.
Styling tip: Pair it with the complementing indigo tapered pants from our collection and give a nice finishing touch to your overall look.
3. Indigo Kota Doria Dupatta
Oh, this dupatta crafted from the finest Kota Doria will definitely become your summer favourite. The blue colour and its beautiful print makes it super versatile and can be paired with not just kurtis but also dresses, and even tops for some extra oomph.
Styling tip: Experiment with the wrapping styles of dupatta to just give your outfits a spin.
4. Mehram Blue Shirt
The oversized silhouette and the delicate hand-blocked pattern will make you look effortlessly stylish. Its super comfortable fit and the fine details will surely make this blue shirt a star of your casual everyday wardrobe.
The indigo textiles can never get out of style and we want you to embrace their beauty in all its glorious forms. An age old-craft, indigo is one of the few forms that perfectly reflects the beauty of traditional and contemporary through its evergreen colour and ability to adapt to all silhouettes.
You can explore our range of indigo classics on our website, here.