A few weeks ago Tori and I had a truly beautiful experience on her class field trip. We went to a hacienda that allows visitors the opportunity to learn about the indigo-dye process. Back in colonial days, El Salvador was a major exporter of indigo dye for the world. This gave the land enough economic security to declare independence. Since then, times have changed and synthetics have taken over.  We got to see how things used to be, and it is an experience I would recommend to anyone who visits El Salvador.


IMG_3179The beautiful Hacienda San Juan Buenavista

IMG_3137500 year old ceiba tree

IMG_3145Indigo dye comes from this plant

IMG_3151It starts green and is pounded out from the plant. Tori is making an impression on a piece of fabric with the dye

IMG_3163Next the green liquid is processed, and natural additives are added to produce the dye

IMG_3200El Salvador was one of the original world suppliers of indigo

IMG_3197IMG_3201Lots of lovely designs…we learned how to use wax, tie-dye, and other methods to create these beautiful patterns


IMG_3203Indigo dye ready for the shirts! The indigo has a very greenish tint to it, and the cloth actually looks green until exposed to oxygen and then it takes on a deep blue hue.

IMG_3219It takes 6-10 dips (with oxygen exposure in between each) to get a deep blue color on the fabric.

IMG_3225IMG_3226Tori and her classmates with the finished products!

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