Indigo Gives America the Blues, Timeline


Synthetic Indigo: Late-1800s to Early-1900s

Synthetic Indigo: Late-1800s to Early-1900s

Technological breakthrough:
Developing a synthetic version of the natural indigo dye

What to look for: It is virtually impossible to tell the difference between natural and synthetic indigo

Indigo was first synthesized in Germany in 1880 and became commercially available in 1897. By 1913, it had almost completely superseded the use of natural indigo. The huge, worldwide market for indigo almost completely disappeared in a matter of a few short decades, greatly affecting the economies of indigo-growing regions, primarily the region of Bengal, India.