Welcome to the world of all-natural indigo dying, where tradition meets sustainability at Hacienda San Juan Buenavista in El Salvador. Amigo met up with Grace Guirola, who has worked with indigo for over 20 years, for a very special project.
Hacienda San Juan Buenavista, a Spanish Colonial Indigo Farm established in the late 1500s, was once a leading producer of indigo in the region. Today, it stands as a testament to the dedication of individuals like Grace, who are committed to restoring and reactivating this historical gem.
Grace, inspired by her family's legacy, obtained the land where her grandfather cultivated indigo. The hacienda's landscape, filled with sugar cane and cattle, reflects a rich history deeply rooted in both agriculture and cultural heritage.
The hacienda, once a thriving indigo producer, is undergoing restoration, creating employment opportunities for the local community. Grace emphasizes the importance of employing environmentally friendly production methods, ensuring the conservation of cultural heritage while fostering sustainable practices.
As the rains bless the indigo plants, they flourish and are subsequently processed into a vibrant powder, ready to become the all-natural and eco-friendly dye. Grace's dedication to sustainable practices highlights the importance of embracing traditional methods in harmony with the environment.
The artistry of indigo dying goes beyond its eco-friendly nature. It opens up a realm of possibilities in design, where various patterns emerge based on how one manipulates the knots. We hand-wrapped and dyed 24 cotton t-shirts for Amigo and each shirt tells a unique story through its intricate design.