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6,000-year-old fabric reveals Peruvians were dyeing textiles with indigo long before Egyptians http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-oldest-indigo-dye-20160915-snap-story.html

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"It turns out it is not easy to definitely detect ancient indigo. Indigo molecules break down over time and can get washed out of fabrics. It takes extremely sensitive equipment to detect it. After a few failed tries, Jan Wouters, a chemist at the University College London, was able determine that the blue in the fabrics was indeed indigo and, further, that it was probably made from Indigofera, a genus of plant that has been widely used to produce blue dye across the world."

 ‎· maitani
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"He added that the find is a little surprising because indigo is not the most intuitive dye. Indigotin, the blue component in indigo, is not soluble in water, so it’s not like you can just throw some Indigofera flowers in a vat of boiling water and extract the dye. Instead, you have to ferment the leaves, which turns the indigotin into another chemical that is soluble in water, but is not blue. “It’s actually kind of a yellowish color,” he said. “In order to get the blue, you dip the clothes in the water with the dissolved indigo molecule, then when you pull it out it oxidizes, and that’s when it turns blue.”"

 ‎· maitani
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Found via TYWKIWDBI http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.de/2016/09/the-first-known-use-of-indigo-dye.html

 ‎· maitani

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