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Understanding Quilt-Specific Colors: Indigo Blue

Indigo Blue
Indigo dye has a long history in the United States, and was used in quiltmaking from the eighteenth century onward.  In the period before 1830, indigo blue dye was very dark, often appearing black or violet, especially in digital images.  Wool and flax were often dyed with this early indigo blue and used as a solid in wholecloth quilts and calamanco.  Throughout much of the rest of the nineteenth century indigo blue was often seen as the background in prints, sometimes with the overlaying print in chrome yellow or orange.  Indigo continued to be common in cotton fabrics through the Edwardian period.  Today, indigo blue dyes very similar to those made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are still common in African quiltmaking and are sometimes used in contemporary American art quilts.
  • Indigo Wool Wholecloth
  • Calamanco
  • Calamanco
  • Pinwheel
  • Rising Sun
  • Bursting Star and Block
  • Album Quilt
  • Boxes
  • Good Fortune
  • Venda Folk Tale
  • Nigerian Quilt
  • African Colors
  • Indigo Lights II

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