PROCESS: Natural Indigo Dyeing with Momotaro Jeans

April 22, 2015

Considered the holy grail of indigo, Momotaro Jeans employ the use of Natural Indigo Dye (derived from the Indigofera plant's leaves) in our latest collaboration with the brand. Revered, but rarely actually put into use (probably because of the ludicrous costs associated with procuring the Indigofera leaves, and creating the paste for the dye), the dye is 100% natural with no chemical additives or fillers.

The Indigofera plant, whose leaves are used to create the Sukumo(Indigo paste) for the Indigo dye

Creating the dye is no easy task -the Sukumo is mixed primarily with water, sake and sugar to create the dye resting in the vat

The shirt gets the first dip in the Natural Indigo Dye vat


The shirt is squeezed and rotated in the dye

This maximizes the amount of indigo dye that will stick to the shirt

Garment dyeing requires a tedious cyclical process of soaking and squeezing the fabric

By dipping, then squeezing, the shokunin is maximizing the amount of dye the shirt will soak in

After the dyeing is complete, the shirt is put in a large plastic bin filled with regular water

The shirt is dipped in and out of the water several times, to wash off all the superfluous Indigo dye

This process is repeated several times, to minimize the chance for severe indigo fall once the product is ready for market

This is a pivotal step to the process, as the shirt should not drastically bleed upon wear

The shirt is then formed to its original shape

And checked to ensure the dyed has evenly been applied to the garment

Placing the shirt on a hangar, it is ready for the final step

The shirt is hung up to dry as the last step, and the process is repeated again from the first step at least 3-4 times to create the bold indigo hue of blue

The final product

Available online today ($250)

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