The Full Story
About Dream Fields Indigo
I am Nina, a Taiwanese indigo dye artisan and the daughter of an artist, a role that has its shares of both fortune and challenges. In university, I studied economics, but later found myself drawn to sociology, culture, and feminism, leading me to pursue graduate studies in gender studies. My career path has been varied, including roles as a table tennis coach, an English tutor, an international hostel staff, a supervisor at a fine dining restaurant in Vancouver, and assistant to a professor at the National Taiwan Academia Sinica. Now, I am an indigo dye artisan.
In 2014, I lived and worked in London and then spent three months traveling across Europe. Upon my return to Taiwan at the end of 2015, I stumbled into fabric dyeing and began learning from my mother. In 2016, I was selected for the Natural Dyeing and Weaving Talent Training Program by the National Taiwan Craft Research Institute, where I studied Natural dyeing and indigo dye craftsmanship, officially becoming a traditional indigo dye artisan. Immersed daily in dyeing, I fell deeply in love with the art of indigo dyeing, constantly realizing that the more I learn, the more mysteries of indigo dyeing there are to explore. In 2021, I immigrated to the Bay Area in California, USA, determined to continue promoting and introducing this beautiful traditional art to the world. I am a wife, a mother, and a fempreneur.
2016/June, Studied at the National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute in Nantou, Taiwan.
2016/Nov.-2018/Nov., Lived in Vancouver, Canada, working and saving money to support my dreams. Occasionally, I participated in local markets, and I planned to travel to South America one day to learn about weaving.
2017/Sep., Joint exhibition called "4 in room" in Vancouver with artists from Japan, UK, and Canada.
2018/Nov.-2019/July, I embarked on a solo journey in South America for eight months, visiting weaving villages and textile artisans in Peru.
2020/ April, Officially established my own Indigo dyeing studio in Taiwan and become my full-time job.
2021/Sep., Became a mother and moved to the Bay Area in California, USA, where I aim to introduce Taiwanese blue dyeing to people in the United States.
What is Indigo?
Indigo refers to a deep and rich blue color that is often associated with the color of the dye derived from the indigo plant. It is one of the primary and historically significant colors used in art, textiles, and various other applications.
Indigo as a color is situated between blue and violet on the color spectrum. It is known for its calming and soothing properties, often symbolizing wisdom, intuition, and spiritual awareness. The term "indigo" is also used more broadly to describe a range of hues in the blue-violet color family.
In terms of the indigo plant, it is a flowering plant, scientifically known as Indigofera tinctoria and several related species. The plant's leaves are the primary source of indigo dye. The process of obtaining the indigo dye involves harvesting the leaves, soaking them in water, and allowing them to ferment. During fermentation, the glycoside indican present in the leaves is broken down into indoxyl, which then oxidizes to form insoluble indigo pigment. This pigment is collected, dried, and processed to create the indigo dye.
Indigo dye has been used for centuries in various cultures around the world for dyeing fabrics, creating vibrant blue hues, and is highly valued for its colorfastness and enduring appeal.