The Colour that Changed the World

  1. Catherine Legrand
  • ISBN 9780500516607
  • 26.00 x 29.00 cm
  • Hardback
  • 288pp
  • 510 Illustrations, 510 in colour
  • First published 2013
‘Presents a beautiful synergy between the visual and cultural … visiting those places where the ancient blue-dye traditions still survive’ – Embroidery

More than 500 glorious photographs as well as specially commissioned drawings provide close-ups on patterns and techniques ...

Indigo sample spread

The process involves the same steps the world over: cultivation or wild harvesting of the plant, extraction of the pigment, preparation of the dye bath, and dyeing of the cloth or yarn. The weaver, tailor or embroiderer then transform the dyed cloth into garments of sublime beauty.

The journey follows the blue thread that links Japan to Central America via southern China, India and Mali. It transports the reader into the realms of botany and chemistry, of world exploration, commerce and the slave trade, of cultural identity, medicine, folk beliefs, handcrafts and globalization, the universality of techniques and the particularity of fashions.

Catherine Legrand is the proprietor of an ethnic clothing boutique in Le Marais, Paris. She is the author of Textiles: A World Tour, also published by Thames & Hudson.