So in love with this photo!
Western Africa, both along the coastal regions and further inland, has an incredibly rich history with indigo. The noted Arab traveler Ibn Battutah once visited Kano, an ancient trading city in northern Nigeria, where he remarked on the indigo dye pits of Kofor Mata. Nearly seven hundred years later, those same pits are still being used today.
In Africa, indigo is typically prepared through one of several methods: either fresh leaves are steeped in a wood-ash lye in vats or deep pits, which are set into the ground; or they use balls of dried leaves that have been either kept back from harvest or acquired through trade. The fabrics that are dyed are usually mill-woven cottons, either locally made or imported, which they decorate through a variety of dye-resist techniques – including tie dye, stitched and folded resist, wax batik, and starch resist. John Gillow highlights some of these techniques in his wonderful book African Textiles: Color and Creativity Across a Continent. Some excerpts below, taking my favorite examples.
Read the rest here