Beautifully constructed and painstakingly dyed by hand; our new Japanese indigo scarves are truly something special.
We’re excited to launch an exclusive capsule range of wool and cashmere scarves, hand-dyed by artisanal Japanese indigo dyeing house, Buaisou. Based in the heart of Japan’s traditional indigo-dyeing province of Tokoshima, Buaisou still adhere to the traditional techniques that have been practiced there for over 700 years. “Japan has a storied history of working with indigo” says creative director Michael Hill. “We have history of working with people who are authentic, who are the best at what they do. There’s nothing we love more than working with small artisans who do things in a time honoured, traditional way.”
Unlike many other dyers, Buaisou grow and harvest their own indigo plants, a process that can only be done once per year. “It’s a lovely team of people, and one dog. The thing about Buaisou is that they were very conscious that there used to be a great industry of indigo dying in Japan, but doing it the traditional way had largely died out. They wanted to bring that back in a way that didn’t cut any corners, as well as a way that would enable them to do their bit in terms of building the local community.”
Once the indigo plant has been harvested, the leaves are left to ferment in vats through the winter with a blend of wood ash, water, calcium hydroxide and wheat bran. This recipe is known as jigokudate - literally ‘hell vat’ in English - due to the difficulty and care that must be put into creating and maintaining it. The time and effort pays off, however with incomparably rich and subtle colour and shading. There are no less than 48 different names for indigo shades in Japan, which demonstrates their incredible sensitivity and specificity of colour.
The collection consists of three designs, each featuring hand-painted motifs that reflect the care and labour that goes into the dyeing process. “It’s about going back to the source of something” says Michael. “The whole thing is a very organic, earnest project.”