Aijo Indigo Dye
Aijozome is a new way to dye indigo blue developed by Kosyokunobi. It's easy and uses no chemical agents — just dissolve it in water.
Conventionally, indigo dye needs to be reduced by an alkali agent to dissolve in water, and you have to protect the skin with gloves while using a chemical agent. Aijozome is 100% natural and safe! You don't need to worry about chemical leaks when you are working. It’s a natural dyeing method, made to meet today's needs and safe standards.
Aijozome is made of a pure indigo pigment that is extracted from fresh leaves of Indigofera Tinctoria through the process of fermentation and precipitation process.
It does not become dark typical indigo blue since it is not reduced by a chemical agent to resolve in water. This is because only natural indigo pigment adheres to and dyes the fabric, retaining the medical effect as well. However, Aijozome is beautifully harmonious with any Bengala colors and can be mixed or over-dyed with Bengala dye to explore new colors freely.
Aijo means pure indigo pigment that is extracted from fresh indigo leaves through the process of fermentation and precipitation. Ai 藍 means indigo in Japanese. Jo 錠, the second syllable of "Ai-jo" is a measuring word introduced to Japan as a counting a grain in Chinese medicine. The country of origin is Tamil State in South India. Aijozome is made from natural Indian indigo that is grown and harvested in the vast Indian soil. Indian indigo is a plant of leguminous family called Komatsunagi. Abundant Indigo pigment can be extracted from Komatsunagi since it has plenty of indigo, unlike Japanese Polygonaceae family which has little indigo. This method of extraction of indigo can be only possible in Southern India where its climate is warm and mild. The word “indigo” spread to the world by trading companies established in India from the middle of 15th century to the middle of 17th century, so-called the Age of Discovery. Most of indigo was traded and used as pigment in Europe. In America, indigo was used for dyeing denim fabric during the Gold Rush era. Indigo was useful to repel rattlesnakes from workers who wore denim. In 1900, synthetic indigo was invented from oil in Germany, which made natural indigo less in demand. There are only a few places that still make indigo in India now. They still manufacture by hands like the old days, which makes indigo very scarce and valuable materials. During the process of being dried and pigmented, microorganism in indigo becomes inactive. To make microorganism active again, chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, need to be added. Indian indigo is natural but caustic soda is chemical.
So the idea of Aijozome came from how we can use natural indigo as pigment without adding any chemicals. Although the color of Aijozome does not become as vivid as typical indigo dyeing since it is not reduced by chemical agent to resolve in water. However, Aijozome is 100% natural and safe. This is because only natural indigo pigment adheres to and dyes the fabric, retaining the medical effect as well. There is no harm for children to use Aijozome. Dyeing with sukumo (fermented indigo leaves with traditional method) requires a user to learn how to handle pigments and equipment, which takes a certain amount of time.
Kosyokunobi's Aijozome is meant to dye something in everyday life. Anyone can enjoy natural Aijozome technique. It is safe for environment as well. You can dye it at home whenever you have time.
You can also enjoy exploring it by mixing with Bengala Dye. Since it is natural, one can wash dyed fabrics at a sink at home. Aijozome is a natural dyeing method, made to meet today's needs and safe standards.