Woad blue, a natural pigment derived from plant leaves, is used in many home décor products.
Until I read about woad blue I had no idea there was any important natural blue colorant other than indigo — a hue I so admire in old carpets and on fine Chinese blue and white porcelain.
A yellow-flowering plant in the mustard family (isatis tictoria) woad was used to produce blue European dyes even before indigo was brought in from Asia. The color can vary from light to dark and is extracted from an apparently very stinky tea brewed from young leaves of the plant. Legend has it that the “bleu cadet” or French blue color of military uniform shirts was derived from woad dye.
Though somewhat obscure outside textile circles, the woad color is amazing. A company in the town Lectoure, France markets a limited collection of blue art and home products under the Bleu-de-Lectoure name.
Woad blues are fabulous colors and as it’s rediscovered we should be seeing more woad blues used in interior spaces.
(Source: artfire.com, dailybeeswax.com, bleu-dectoure.com,woad.org.uk)
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