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Clues to the Blues

Clues to the Blues

The distinctive character and qualities of natural indigo dye have long captivated the imagination of artisans and craftsmen. Its color is the result of oxidation, as the fabric becomes blue after being exposed to air, and various processes produce different results.

“There are specific names for each of the nearly 50 shades of blue the fabric becomes ...”

Japan’s noble samurai were among the first to discover the botanical also helped soothe and heal their skin, and wore indigo-dyed cloth beneath their armor to help heal burns and wounds. Today, the color is still referenced as “Samurai Blue” and its skin-calming qualities are the centerpiece of our Indigo collection for sensitive skin.

Beloved for centuries, this rich shade of blue has become a cornerstone of the Japanese culture. This is reflected, in part, by the fact that there are specific names for each of the nearly 50 shades of blue the fabric becomes as it deepens with each dip into the dye. In honor of the new Indigo Soothing Mini Set, I thought I’d share some of the favorites I found during my research:

• Aijiro: Indigo white. The palest shade with just a whisper of visible tint.

• Kamenozoki: Quick Peek. A single dip into the dye, still barely detectable.

• Hisokuiro: Translates as “secret color.” Named after a type of extremely delicate porcelain.

• Sorairo: The soft color of a summer sky.

• Shinbashiiro: Named for the popular geisha district in Tokyo called Shinbashi, where many geisha wore this shade of blue.

• Usuhanasakura: The faint color of cherry blossom before opening.

• Fujinando: The shade of a wisteria covered shed.

• Kachiiro: One of the deepest colors of indigo, during the time of samurai in war- this color because when pronounced, it sounds like the word for winning.

What is your favorite shade of blue?


Victoria Signature

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

Published September 28, 2015
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