Dying of fabrics may not be a new thing as researchers have found traces of indigo on a piece of fabric dated 6,200 years ago.
The 6,200-year-old indigo-blue fabric was found from Huaca, Peru by researchers at George Washington University and the finding makes the fabric one of the oldest-known cotton textiles ever to have been dyed with indigo blue. The finding, according to Jeffrey Splitstoser, who is the lead author of a paper describing the discovery, is indicative of how well the textile technology may have developed thousands of years ago.
While most of the technological advancements have been made in the last couple of hundred years, there are instances wherein we are now finding that some of the advances were even made thousands of years ago.
The fabric in question was discovered nearly seven years ago during a 2009 excavation at Huaca Prieta. The site, according to experts, was most likely a religious place – most probably a temple – where a variety of textiles and other offerings were placed, possibly as part of a ritual. The well-preserved artifacts give a glimpse into ancient civilization and lifestyle and offer an unexpected connection to the 21st century.
The development of indigo dye was critical for future trends in fashion, fabrics and textile arts, Splitstoser said.
“The cotton used in Huaca Prieta fabrics, Gossypium barbadense, is the same species grown today known as Egyptian cotton,” Dr. Splitstoser said. “And that’s not the only cotton connection we made in this excavation – we may well not have had blue jeans if it weren’t for the ancient South Americans.”