Are Indigo Products a luxury item?

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'Hand-dyed'

Our latest capsule collection revolves around Graye's natural Indigo dye, celebrating the beauty of hand-dyed products. Every piece is carefully executed by the hands of artisans from the village of Dali in Yunnan Province.

Hand dye down to the very minute detail.

 

People in Dali have been mastering this much-admired art form for over a thousand years tracking back to the Tang Dynasty.

 

The process of creating this artwork begins with natural dyes, obtained from plants such as indigo, woad roots and mugwort which are native to the nearby mountains of Cangshan. Where these plants were once foraged growing wild, as the volume of plants needed began to increase, dye artists began to cultivate their own indigo crops on the mountainside. 

The extraction of the indigo dye itself is a labour intensive process. We've illustrated the process here for you to have a deeper understanding of how natural indigo dye is extracted.

As a brand, Graye is making a conscious decision to be more sustainable. Using natural dye, we are able to give back to the environment after the extraction process – the plant residue can be composted and used as a fertiliser and the water reused to irrigate crops, establishing a chain reaction of returning what we took.

Seeing Dali for the first time give us a window into a totally different way of life – one with less waste, a slower pace, self-reliance, and a wealth of knowledge about different ways of working directly with natural materials.

We realised how GRAYE can play a part in conveying this traditional Indigo lifestyle into our urban setting – re-introducing the traditional techniques in a fresh perspective.
We then sat down with the artisans and experimented various dying methods to make contemporary t-shirt designs based on their existing knowledge and traditional way of making - the results are detailed, heritage-quality t-shirts made from natural materials.
Some sample designs we've produced while we were there.
The meticulousness, hard labour and authenticity behind this collection ultimately reflects the premium value of Indigo products; through our efforts we hope to continue support this traditional craft and create meaningful pieces that will last.

 

 

Written by: Iris Tay

Assisted by: Xie QianQian

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