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Version: 1.0
(mai, 2008)

Natural dyeing with indigo

Before dyeing, the women can tie the cloth in different ways to create patterns of colour. A women can spend more than a day doing this per item of clothing.

In 2006, we carried out the first tests of dyeing over 2 days, with 6kg of fresh leaves, 2kg of indigo compost, and 3kg of millet stalk ash (potash). No chemicals were added. Unfortunately, the women had not mastered the technique; we ended up with green instead of blue.

An ancient skill which is disappearing…

In June 2007, we tried again with a 90 year-old sakhakolé called Fatou Camara who has been dyeing with indigo since her childhood in her village Mboulembou.

At first the experiment failed, since the recipe contained many secrets which are difficult to pass on. But on a second attempt the old woman produced a beautiful indigo blue which does not fade or wash out at all, compared to many chemical dyes.

Further tests are being carried out to improve the technique and to pass it on to other women in the Federation, in order to add extra value to the hand processed organic cotton (see "products" page)