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Indigo used as a dye almost 6,200 years ago: Study
19
Sep '16
Courtesy: George Washington University
Courtesy: George Washington University
The oldest textile that used indigo as a dye has been identified by a researcher. The fabric found in Huaca Prieta, Peru is almost 6,200 years old and has traces of indigoid dye (indigotin), making it the earliest known use of this dye in the world. It pre-dates the previously known oldest blue-coloured textile dyed using indigo by over 1,800 years.

The study was carried out by Jeffrey Splitstoser, assistant research professor of anthropology at George Washington University. According to the paper published on Science Advances, the indigo dye is derived from Indigofera spp., a plant which is native to South America.

The fabrics unearthed from the Preceramic site of Huaca Prieta were made from the Gossypium barbadense species of cotton, which is cultivated even today and is known as Egyptian cotton. Some unusual circumstances of preservation helped these fabrics to retain traces of the blue pigment.

Native Americans have made certain contributions towards technological advancements, however, people are mostly unaware of them because European systems replaced a lot of these technologies, said Splitstoser, according to media reports.

Indigo, used to dye blue jeans, is a valued and globally widespread dye of antiquity and of the present era, says the study. (KD)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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