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 By 1913, it had almost completely superseded the use of natural indigo.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.