January 25, 2022

GROUNDED INDIGO: The world’s only 100% plant-based indigo

ALBINI_next, the Albini Group think tank founded in 2019 with the aim of spearheading innovative solutions for creating the fabrics of the future, presents Grounded Indigo, a natural textile dye that originated in the search for dyeing practices that are more responsible with regard to people and the environment.

A doubly evocative name, which summarises indigo’s bond with the earth and emphasises Albini’s commitment and pledge to nature: the word ‘Grounded’ evokes both the terrain in which the plants are rooted and the company’s respect for sustainability.

In order to develop the application of natural indigo to cone-type yarn dyeing, ALBINI_next chose to collaborate with Stony Creek Colors, an American manufacturer of the world’s only 100% plant-based indigo certified USDA BioPreferred™ (the standard that evaluates a product’s bio-based content). This is an indigo derived from the Indigofera suffruticosa plant, cultivated by regenerative farming practices in the regions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and southern Florida (USA).

A natural dye with the same performance capabilities as synthetic indigo but originating from plant-based raw materials and through processes that positively impact the climate and environment.

The innovation is in the formula. Once harvested, the indigo plant is transformed into dye in three stages: 

extraction: the plant is initially extracted with water; the water then separates from the biomass, the pH is adjusted and a yellow liquid is obtained.

oxidation: the dye oxidises in contact with air and from yellow turns into the classic indigo colour.

pulverisation: the pigment is dried and ground into powder.

ALBINI_next has been able to industrialise the right chemical formula to apply the dye directly to the yarn all the while ensuring that the entire process is consistent with the sustainability of natural indigo production.

The Albini Group today uses Grounded Indigo for its organic and traceable BIOFUSION® cotton yarns in three colour varieties ranging from light to dark blue and which can be diversified in other shades for exclusive fabrics.