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Nakajima Indigo Dye Works

by Brian Fichtner
on 07 March 2008

Like many traditions, the art of indigo dying is fading as global brands demand high paced, volumetric production cycles. The unpredictable tastes of today’s consumer have made it difficult for artisinal producers over the years, but a recent surge in the appreciation of heritage brands is bolstering the handmade artifact.

Tsurukichi is the fourth generation in one of Japan’s last remaining indigo dye houses, the Nakajima Konya compound, which was founded over 170 years ago. The company relies on an ancient fermentation process to produce its dye from the leaves of the indigofera plant; the indigo dye pots on site, sustain a living culture that imbues the textiles with an unrivaled vibrancy.


Working in a variety of fabrics, Tsurukichi designs both in-house and through collaborative partnerships. This weekend, the company will be participating in another regrettably waning tradition, the trunk show. Taking place at Project No. 8, company founder Nakajima Sensei (who has been described as a living treasure) and designer Matt Dick will be on hand to discuss the blues. Nakajima Trunk Show
8 March 2008, 6-8pm
Project No. 8
138 Division Street
New York, NY 10002 map
tel. +1 212 925 5599

Tsurukichi San Francisco Showroom
864 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94109 map
tel. +1 415 292 5550

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