The Link Between Japanese Samurai and Real Indigo

Recently I came across this short docu film: ‘The Link Between Japanese Samurai and Real Indigo’. The docu is made by Great Big Story as part of their Frontiers series, where they bring you front and center to the dreamers, pioneers, and innovators leading society at the cutting edge.

indigofera tinctoria

Why They Dyed Garments In Indigo

Before jeans were coloured with indigo they used natural indigo from the Indigofera Tinctoria plant already for centuries. They dyed garments in natural indigo as it’s antibacterial, flame resistant for fire fighters, repels odor and dirt. But it was also used to make garments more stronger. With roots in Japanese culture dating back to the 1600’s, indigo dyed fabrics were worn under the armor of Samurais to help keep bacteria from wounds.

Today several indigo farmers in Japan are still working to get the best natural indigo. This is a very time consuming process which you can see in the short docu here below. Enjoy.

Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine, I'm working as a freelance denim specialist for the industry. Titled as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50. Celebrated my 10th anniversary with Long John in 2021.