Indigo Dyeing in Hungary

Indigo dyeing of textiles has become an example of craft and folk art that took root in five Central European countries despite their different languages and cultures.

Blue-dyeing refers to the practice of printing a dye-resistant paste onto a cloth before dyeing over it with indigo dye. To apply the designs onto the cloth, practitioners use hand-crafted blocks that are up to 300 years old, featuring regionally-inspired patterns as well as generic designs or Christian motifs. The representation of local flora and fauna is interrelated with the local culture of the regions. The traditional method involves preparing the raw material and spinning, weaving, finishing, printing and dyeing them.

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Nowadays, businesses that still practice the methods are mainly small, family-owned workshops and traditional knowledge is based on journals dating back to the 19th century and passed on through observation and hands-on practice.

During their latest study tour to Esztergom our Hungarian team at Inspiration Travel had the chance to admire some examples of the resist block printing and indigo dyeing methods that were inscribed in the representative list of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2018, based on a joint request by Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia.

If you would like to learn more about this craft, get in touch!

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