D.I.Y. Design: Caught Blue-handed

our crewcuts designers set up shop in a Brooklyn backyard
to try their hand at indigo-dyeing our kids’
Converse® Jack Purcell® sneakers.
here’s how they created these one-of-a-kind kicks…
Indigo’s origins: Indigo is a natural dye that comes from the indigo plant and has a long and beautiful history as a dyestuff—it was mentioned in manuscripts found in India that date back to the 4th century BC!

The dye process: An indigo dye bath is a little finicky to prepare because it is a natural plant material and is more sensitive than a chemical dye bath. It’s important to presoak(1) the items that you are dyeing so that the dye can penetrate the material properly. The trickiest part of the process is getting a specifically desired level of saturation or evenness—we had a lot of happy mistakes!

Why so blue: We’ve done bright colors before, but this time it was really about the ritual of the indigo dye itself—the craftsmanship that goes into making and maintaining the dye bath; the natural, spontaneous results of the hand-dyeing process and the saturated, inky blue color inherent only to this special process.

Fun fact: The bath is actually a green color(2) when prepared—it’s only after the dyed item comes in contact with the air that it oxidizes and reveals the blue color(3).

Wear and tear: A cool part about using indigo versus other dyes is that these shoes will age like your favorite pair of jeans, with dye loss at points of wear (think whisker marks and weathered knees). They get so much cooler with age!

For big kids: Who knows, there may be an adult’s version soon. We dyed a few of our own garments and shoes with supercool results—the men’s and women’s design teams have been ogling us for weeks!

These blue beauties will be available exclusively at our Prince Street store starting today!

(Post by Rob S., Liz K., and Elsinore C.)
Notes
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    Once it gets nice out!
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  13. iamcharlotteaddams reblogged this from jcrew and added:
    Cool!
  14. biologicalintelligence reblogged this from jcrew and added:
    Exhibit A: I was planning on doing this to my trainers when I get back to SCAD in the wintertime. Very excited to try it...
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