The History of Indigo Dye

Sudheer By Sudheer, 18th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/26hyq1pl/
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According to the ancient Greeks, dyes like Indigo were first made in Ancient India

The History of Indigo Dye

According to the ancient Greeks, dyes like Indigo were first made in Ancient India. Many dyes and pigments were extracted in ancient India from vegetable and mineral bases. The Greek historian Ktesias who lived in the 4th century B.C. at the Persian Court has observed that "Among the Indians are found certain insects about the size of beetles and of a color so red that at first sight one might mistake them for cinnabar. Their legs are of extraordinary length and soft to the touch.”

He continues, “They grow upon trees which produce amber, and subsist upon their fruit. The Indians collect them for the sake of the purple dye, which they yield when crushed. This dye is used for tinting with purple not only their outer and under-garments, but also any other substance where a purple hue is required. Robes tinted with this purple are sent to the Persian King, for Indian purple is thought by the Persians be marvelously beautiful and far superior to their own."*

Ktesias also says that the Indian dye is deeper and more brilliant than the renowned Lydian Purple. This is perhaps Indigo which was made in ancient India

Indigo is also a blue coloured dye obtained from a plant named Indigofera. In ancient times, indigo was used both as a dye and as a medicine. The word indigo is derived from the Greek word Indikon which means 'from India'. In Sanskrit it is referred to as Neelam.

*The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea - Travelsand Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant in the First Century, Translated from the Greek and Annoted by Wilfred H. Schoff, Longmans Green and Co. New York, 1912.

Source: http://www.hindubooks.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=1378

Tags

Ancient India, Dyes, Pigments Indigo

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author avatar muthusamy
22nd Feb 2011 (#)

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author avatar Anduw
20th Oct 2011 (#)

poopy

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author avatar Andrew
6th Dec 2012 (#)

WHy?

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author avatar Anduw
20th Oct 2011 (#)

hay umm idigo is used for blue jeans dye and is used to dye cloths back in the old days

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20th Oct 2011 (#)

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author avatar Anduw
20th Oct 2011 (#)

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