Indigo surrounds us
perhaps more than any other textile dye.
Few modern craftsmen have
unlocked its potential better than
Aboubakar Fofana, who has studied
traditional indigo production techniques
for over three decades and on three
continents: at home in Mali,
inside ethnology museums in Paris,
and alongside Masakazu Akiyama,
a Japanese master dyer.
“Of the blues with natural indigo,
I can make 12 different blues, from very light to
very dark—I discovered that traditionally,
to be an indigo dyer, you have
to master these 12 different shades,” he says.
“Each has a different name and each
has a specific emotion”.