Sixth Graders Explore Indigo

photo 1 photo 1 photo 2Indigo dyeing has a tradition that goes back thousands of years. Indigo textiles have been found in China, India, and even the pyramids of ancient Egypt. What common clothing item can you think of that is dyed with indigo? Have you discovered that indigo is the third example of our blue color scheme?

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Sixth grade students have been extending their experience of creating fabric messages of peace with kindergarten students to writing more complex statements and goals for being peacemakers. These fabric strips along with larger pieces of fabric are being folded, twisted, and bound to create different patterns and designs when dyed in the indigo. Students viewed images and videos describing the process of indigo dyeing as well as indigo dyed fabric examples from around the world including the work of contemporary artists who are still creating art with the indigo dyeing process today. Check out the video below of Japanese Shibori Indigo! We’re just getting started with the dyeing process, which includes dipping our fabric into the dye vat and slowly pulling out a sample that looks green. Only when the dye interacts with the oxygen in the air will it start to turn blue. This process of oxidizing can take just a minute or up to an hour.