Harvesting Indigo: A Glimpse into the Traditional Farming and Dyeing Process
In the heart of India's monsoon season, the Indigo fields of Kiran Sandhu, Shankar Mandal, and Rajendra Bisht come alive. As the sun begins to rise, they gather with a few farmhands to prepare for the first harvest of the season. With their sickles lined up before a bough of lush green Indigo, they send off a quick prayer to the Gods above, knowing that this year will be a good one.
For these farmers, Indigo is not just a crop - it's a way of life. Having grown up running through Indigo fields, they have a deep connection to the plant and the traditional process of dyeing.
After a successful harvest, they load their tractors with 400kg of Indigo, ready to begin the next step of the process. The Indigo is left to ferment overnight, allowing the dyestuff to separate from the plant.
The next day, the farm labourers' wives take over the process of oxygenating the Indigo solution. Using baskets to beat the water, they agitate the solution to introduce oxygen, a crucial step in the traditional dyeing process. It's a physically demanding task, and we've even seen men jump into solution tanks and kick the water to achieve the necessary level of oxygenation.
The traditional process of Indigo farming and dyeing is not just a means of production, but a cultural heritage that has been passed down through generations. As we continue to celebrate and promote sustainable and traditional practices, we must also recognize and honour the important role that farming communities, especially women, play in this process.
If you're looking to learn more about the traditional farming and dyeing process, you've come to the right place. Our blog is dedicated to sharing insights and knowledge about sustainable and traditional practices, and our farming and dyeing process is no exception. Whether you're a farmer or a consumer, we invite you to join us on this journey of discovery and sustainability.
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