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Our Story

Indigo Shade Map is a a digital platform curated to delve into the fascinating journey of natural indigo, tracing its historical roots and the contemporary community built around it today. The map invite you to explore the rich tapestry of indigo's past and present, and unveiling the intricate threads connecting cultures, traditions, and the environment. Our team has passionately compiled a diverse array of information, ranging from ancient civilizations that first learned to extract indigo to modern-day sustainable practices and artistry across different continents. Join us on this exploration, where tradition and innovation merge. 


Discover the Indigo Shade Map, an innovative interactive infographic map that originated in 2016 through the creative vision of artist and grower, Rosa Sung Ji Chang. The project was re-developed in the spring of 2020, evolving into a living document, archiving the global usage of three distinct indigo varieties: Indigofera tinctoria and suffruticosa, Persicaria tinctorium, and Woad. 


These remarkable plants intricately interlace the lives and histories of diverse communities, forming a complex tapestry of textile heritage that fosters connection and understanding among the intricate world of indigo. 

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Extracting natural indigo is a multifaceted and intricate process that involves a deep understanding of both the botany and chemistry. Derived from various plant species the extraction of natural indigo requires dedication, labor, patience and expertise.


The Indigo

Each indigo plant on the map is uniquely denoted by a specific shade of blue, a testament to the diverse hues that this ancient dye can produce. Indigo dye, deeply rooted in the textile traditions of numerous cultures worldwide.  We invite you to explore the varied climates and regions in which indigo thrives, producing distinct shades despite their shared blue pigment (indigotin).

The map currently documents the following species:


suffruticosa + tintoria

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Anil, Guatemalan indigo

Tropical, African, true  indigo




Japanese, Jjok, Asian Indigo



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Varied unique species 





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