Japanese Natural Indigo Dye Service
Curious Corners is proud to offer Natural Indigo Dye Service in collaboration with Asai, the family-run dye house in Kyoto, Japan.
Have your favorite clothing and home textiles up-cycled with genuine organic indigo.
We are accepting a first batch of orders by July 25, 2019. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive instructions how to process your dyeing order.
“Sukumo” Indigo Vat:
Asai works with genuine natural, fermenting indigo vat with “sukumo.” “Sukumo” is fermented indigo leaves, traditional form of indigo dye. Asai sources “sukumo” from the Sotoyamas, one of the five surviving indigo farmers who carries on sukumo making tradition in Tokushima, Japan. Sukumo, lye (wood ash water), sake, and limestone powder are the only ingredients of Asai’s vat. No chemicals are added. The vat is kept fermented for months, produces true “Japan Blue” by master dyes Masafumi Asai and his son, Naoyuki.
Masayuki Asai is a master dyer with over fifty years of experience dyeing textiles for luxurious kimonos. Together with his son, Naoyuki, he started running fermenting “sukumo” indigo dye vats twenty years ago. As the majority of indigo dyeing business shifts to chemical, the Asais still work with traditional vat recipe, with organic ingredients, and dyeing by hand.
The dyeing price is calculated by the total weight of item: $0.68 per gram.
(A regular size T-shirts will be around $100, long sleeve shirts around $150-200, more depending on the size, thickness of fabric)
Minimum $50 per order
$25 round-trip shipping fee to Japan
Extra 20% for deepest, purplish indigo color.
We accept cotton and silk items only. Synthetic parts, such as nylon stitches, plastic buttons will remain undyed. The items will be dyed in mid- to dark blue. Since each process is by hand, please understand that we cannot provide color-turning or matching. If you wish the deepest possible color, there will be extra 20% for cost of additional dyeing. It will be purplish dark blue.
Previously Asked Questions and Our Answers:
- What items can we send to dye?
We accept cotton and silk items. They can be new or used.
- Can I send fabric yardage to dye?
Yes. It may need to be cut into large pieces for hand-dyeing. Please send us length and width information for your fabric.
- Can I send items other than white?
Yes. We can dye fabric other than white. Blue color will be blended to the original color of the fabric. For example, if the item is red, it will most likely be purplish color.
- I would like to send an item with stains. Can you dye over the stain?
Yes, we can try to dye over the stains. However, depending how dark the stain it, it may not be fully concealed.
- I bought Japanese Natural Indigo Dye denim pants at $300 per pair. How come it costs more to re-dye them than the pants themselves?
We assume your denim pant were made with yarns dyed with natural indigo pigments fermented in a large machine with reducing chemicals. There are many different types of “natural indigo dye” depending on what kind of dye to start with, and/or how they ferment or make it into a vat. There is no regulation for calling one’s items “natural indigo” and there are many different price points.
- Can I buy sukumo and try dyeing by myself?
Sukumo indigo dyeing is a far more complex undertaking than DYI indigo dyeing. It requires practice, devotion and a proper studio setting. For DIY indigo dyeing, please check our Yamato Indigo Dye Kit. Sukumo (fermented indigo leaves) is extremely rare, and currently made only by handful of surviving farmers in Tokushima, Japan and devoted individuals. Most of those producers only sell sukumo to experienced dyers that they work with for decades.