TASA Program: Donna Hardy/Indigo in the Southeast U.S.

On Friday, June 1, Lynn Pollard hosted TASA’s summer program on indigo. Indigo authority Donna Hardy gave a history of the plant (the name indigo comes from the country name “India” ) and its use, and explained the different kinds of indigo plants–some are in the legume family; others in the cabbage family.

Donna also shared stories about the cultivation of indigo in the Carolina colonies and Georgia. She talked about various techniques in making indigo dye and showed a picture of an old indigo vat.

Donna is dedicated to preserving the knowledge of indigo production and is envisioning a center to bring all blue-producing plants from around the world together to record and document the ways they are used.
Today synthetic indigo dye is more readily available than natural indigo.

Following Donna’s program, members showed a variety of indigo-dyed fabrics from Indonesia, African countries, and SE Asia.

Submitted by Gail Goodwin

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