Plant dyeing that is kind to both the human body and the environment

The greatest appeal of vegetable dyeing is that it can produce complex hues. Each piece is different, making each one unique. In addition, some of the plants used as raw materials for vegetable dyeing have antibacterial and disease-preventing properties. Since ancient times, clothing has been considered medicine to wear, and it is said that the origin of the word "taking" comes from this.

Wastewater from synthetic dyes is considered a cause of environmental pollution, but with natural plant dyes, the wastewater and wastewater from the dyeing process are returned to nature, so there is no burden on the environment and they circulate within the natural environment. For example, at Yinyang's dye factory in Bali, all of the dye liquid is natural, but the raw liquid after dyeing is not directly discharged into the sewer, but first discharged into the biotope within the factory. In addition, plants that have lost their dye color are used for compost and return to the soil to be used as fertilizer for other plants. In order to live in harmony with nature, a system that makes the most of limited resources and allows them to circulate is also alive in the manufacturing process.

インドネシア バリ

Indonesia Bali

All products manufactured in Indonesia are traditionally dyed with natural plant dyes. By mixing five basic colors, unique and distinctive colors are created, and each piece is unique, meaning that each piece is one of a kind.
We fell in love with the beautiful colors that come from plants, and chose plant dyeing for the sake of preserving the natural environment and the health of the artisans involved. The resulting colors are sometimes even more beautiful than we would expect. This impressed us and taught us the beauty of nature.

The manufacturing cycle has changed dramatically since we started to use vegetable dyes in Bali. Vegetable dyes, which require many leaves, proceed in line with the cycle of nature. Due to differences in climate, there are long periods of dryness and heavy rain, so things are never exactly the same. Vegetable dyes have endless challenges in terms of tackling the environment. We are always thinking about "how to make things without putting a strain on the natural environment" and taking on new challenges. We are grateful for the environment and connections that allow us to take on challenges.

Plant-dyed basic 5 colors

Indigo (Blue/ Java)

Indigo is one of the oldest dyes, having been used since ancient civilizations. The blue color produced by indigo has been used to dye fabrics around the world since ancient times. The leaves from Java produce a smoky blue color. It is said to have a deodorizing effect, and has been used frequently in Japan for a long time.

Mahogany (Brown/ Bali)

Since ancient times, mahogany has been used as a high-quality wood for furniture and other products around the world, but due to excessive harvesting, trade is now restricted by the Washington Convention. Even in Indonesia, where mahogany trees grow in abundance, the trees are carefully protected by this convention. At Yinyang, we collect leaves from trees grown in the fields of our dye factory.

Secang (Red/ Java)

The tree itself is red, but it is difficult to dye it red, and the experience and skill of the craftsman is required. If it is not mordanted, it will be yellowish brown, if mordanted with alum it will be red, if mordanted with ash from burning camellia or other trees it will be reddish purple, and if mordanted with iron it will be a dark purple. The color changes depending on the time of harvest, so you can enjoy the different red colors at any given time.

Ketapang (Black/ Bali)

Momogana is a tree similar to mangroves, and is often found near the sea in Bali. Its leaves turn an elegant black color like ink. In Japan, it is often seen in areas south of Okinawa.

Mango (Yellow/ Bali)

The yellow color is inspired by the leaves of the tropical fruit mango, and has a warm, mustard-like color. The mango is an evergreen tree that grows to 30-40m in height, and is actually a member of the lacquer family. There are mango trees everywhere in Bali, so there is no shortage of materials.

Biotope Initiatives at Bali Dye Factory

All of our dye solutions are naturally derived, but the dyed solution is too strong for the natural environment, so instead of being dumped into the sewer, it is dumped into the biotope within the factory. Biotope is a compound word of the Greek words "bios" (living thing) and "topos" (place), and means a habitat or space where various living things coexist in a natural state. In the aquarium tanks of the biotope at our dye factory, we grow water hyacinth, a water plant with excellent purifying properties, which helps to maintain the necessary balance for the living things.

The dye liquid then flows down the banana trees, where it is purified and the nutrients it contains help grow healthy bananas. It eventually becomes wastewater, which is more easily returned to nature, and flows into rivers and the sea. Plants that have lost their dye color are used as compost, returning to the soil to be used as fertilizer for other plants. In order to live in harmony with nature, systems that make the most of limited resources and recycle them are also part of our manufacturing.

Tokushima Prefectural Josai High School

"Indigo dyeing" is a traditional Japanese technique in which each piece is dyed by hand using sukumo, a fermented indigo plant.
The Awa Indigo Specialist Team at Tokushima Prefectural Josai High School is involved in the sixth industry, from cultivating knotweed to selling it. With the motto of "Inheriting Awa Indigo Culture and Expanding Exchange Activities," the team is working diligently to connect JAPAN BLUE to the next generation.
High school students who will create the future will learn about this traditional culture that was once on the verge of disappearance at this school, and then go out into society as carriers of this traditional culture.

The program starts with cultivating the indigo plant, sowing the seeds, planting the seedlings, and then carefully managing the plant, irrigating, weeding, fertilizing, and hilling up the soil. The indigo plant is harvested twice during the hot summer months. The harvested indigo plant is then finely chopped into leaves and stems using a grinder.
The fabric is then laid down in a process called sleeping, turning, and fermenting to produce sukumo, the base of the dye.