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Oldest blue indigo dyed fabric of Huaca Prieta site Peru 6,000 years ago

Tinuku ~ The oldest fabric dyed indigo is not blue jeans. Long before Egypt and China, Peru made blue cotton 6,000 years ago. The ancient site Huaca Prieta in northern coast of Peru preserve blue cotton weaving.

In most places, 6000 yaers is very pretty to decaying and eliminate cotton cloth. But dry climate in the region Peru preserve some decorative textiles survive for thousands of years until archaeologists dug in 1940s.

Tinuku Oldest blue indigo dyed fabric of Huaca Prieta site Peru 6,000 years ago Oldest blue indigo dyed fabric of Huaca Prieta site Peru 6,000 years ago

While indigo dyed fabrics from Egypt about 4,400 years ago and western China 3,000 years ago, the ancient people in South America make a piece blue cotton cloth woven by indigo dye making it the most oldest example the use of dyes.

Chemical analysis of fabric Huaca Prieta, an ancient site on northern coast Peru were first excavated in the 1940s, pointing radiocarbon dating charcoal furnaces convince people occupied the site from 14,500 to 4,000 years ago.

Around 7,600 to 4,000 years ago, residents building design with carefully stone houses, plazas, burial chambers and other structures until now formed a large rock and mound.

Jeffrey Splitstoser, an anthropologist George Washington University, and team identified strands blue indigo length 3 to 5 centimeters. Striped blue cloth fragments excavated at Huaca Prieta in 2009, the patch material found in sediments estimated 6,200 to 6,000 years.

"What surprised me is the process indigo dye discovered and developed independently so early in some parts of the world," said Splitstoser. Oldest blue indigo dyed fabric of Huaca Prieta site Peru 6,000 years ago

Indigo blue is not easily made, it took many steps to extract from plant. Process includes soaking and fermenting leaves to produce colored substance before stirring mixture in open air which ultimately produces major components are indigotin.

It's hard to know exactly when and where the first dyeing cloth with indigo blue. Not surprisingly, early textiles dyed with indigo blue from Middle East due to some of earliest civilizations appeared there.

Tinuku Oldest blue indigo dyed fabric of Huaca Prieta site Peru 6,000 years ago

In ancient times the plant very valuable bring touch color and luxury fabrics. Today also used for coloring, although the number is much smaller since advent of synthetic indigo dye by Adolf von Baeyer in late 1860s and awarded the Nobel Prize.

Indigo synthetics made from petroleum into fabric better and more durable than natural version. Indigo naturally also requires large amount land, but there is good news for legacy by studying indigo plants at the root manufacture of traditional dyes.


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