Dyeing for Suchitoto

Irma and her husband run Arte Añil in Suchitoto in El Savador. Doing every part of production themselves by hand from patternmaking and making the dye to dying fabrics and trialling new colours. The end garments are gorgeous indigo blues – faded and subtle to deeply intense.
The plant used here is Indigofera suffruticosa and indigo has been important to El Salvador and other parts of Central America. Indigo was produced on a massive scale from the 1600s until the 19 century, when it was replaced as a cash crop by coffee.

BLUE ALCHEMY: Stories of Indigo is a documentary about indigo and its role in several countries – including El Salvador.

Take one bag of indigo dye

Take one bag of indigo dye

put in bin, add water and stir well

put in bin, add water and stir well

Add sample to test strength

Add sample to test strength

oops wear protection

oops wear protection

Natural dyes

Natural dyes

Irma designs her own patterns

Irma designs her own patterns

And sews them too

And sews them too

Finished products

Finished products

Irma's next model

Irma’s next model

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