Monday, April 13, 2009


Indicum or Indigo Blue

In antiquity indigo was imported as indicum in flat, dried bricks, and Roman writers such as Pliny did not know that it was made from a plant. He described it in the Natural History as 'a certain silt that forms in frothy water and attaches itself to reds. This color seems to be black when ground, and yet when diluted it makes a certain very rich purplish blue.' (Delamare and Guineau)


Beth Ahrens-Kley said...

The town of Erfurt in Germany gained wealth and political influence through trade and export of a blue dye gained from the woad plant. I suppose this must be the same plant! When Europe's trade expanded to more distant lands, the more readily available and cheaper Indigo-blue dye replaced the more expensive dye made from woad plants.

Judy said...

Hmmm, I wonder if this is the same colour, non-existant any more, as mentoned in the Jewish Bible. The blue used in the prayer shawls. The colour is alled Tichelet? Love your blog

artslice said...

Hi Beth - woad plants... I'll be looking them up to learn more.

Hi Judy,
Very interesing question! I'll be looking that up too:) Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks to you both for adding more to this post; I love the nuggets of info!