Indigo Gives America the Blues, Timeline


American Indigo Resist: Mid- to Late-1700s

American Indigo Resist: Mid- to Late-1700s

Technological breakthrough:
Applying large areas of “resist” paste to block dye penetration during dipping

What to look for:
Blue designs on a white ground; large-scale motifs appropriate for furnishing fabrics

Unlike other resist-dyed fabrics that feature small white figures on a blue ground, this type has large blue designs on a white ground. Surviving examples, often in the form of curtains or bed hangings, have mostly been found in the United States and thus the fabric is often called “American indigo resist.” It is unknown, however, where the technique originated.