A Salvadoran textile dyer applies a natural indigo dye onto a wrapped cloth in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. A Salvadoran textile dyer applies a natural indigo dye onto a wrapped cloth in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.
A Salvadoran woman stuffs a decorative pillow, dyed with a natural blue indigo, in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. A Salvadoran woman stuffs a decorative pillow, dyed with a natural blue indigo, in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.
A Salvadoran woman draws the wax onto a white fabric, dyed with a natural blue indigo afterwards, in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. A Salvadoran woman draws the wax onto a white fabric, dyed with a natural blue indigo afterwards, in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.
A Salvadoran seamster sews an indigo-dyed tote bag on the sewing machine in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. A Salvadoran seamster sews an indigo-dyed tote bag on the sewing machine in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.
Indigo-dyed clothing, after being processed in the dye bath, are seen hung on a clothesline in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. Indigo-dyed clothing, after being processed in the dye bath, are seen hung on a clothesline in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.
An indigo-dyed fabric is seen hung in front of a seamstress working in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador. An indigo-dyed fabric is seen hung in front of a seamstress working in an artisanal clothing workshop in Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador.

Indigo fashion

Santiago Nonualco, El Salvador – April 2018

For centuries, indigo, a natural deep blue dye extracted from the leaves of tropical plants, has been known to the native indigenous inhabitants of Central America. Nowadays, a growing demand for handmade, nature-based products has has permitted the emergence of various clothing workshops and cooperatives. Employing traditional design techniques and inspired by the ancient Mayan artists, they produce fashion collections, clothing accessories or decorative items on a sustainable, small scale basis.

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