For centuries indigo has been used as a dye in Asian countries, such as India, China and Japan. It is said that India is the oldest indigo supplier for Europe. The Greek word for paint, indicator, even refers to India.
The Romans used the term indicum, which evolved through Italian to the present word indigo. The used indigo as a painter's pigment and also for medical and cosmetic use. It remained a luxurious and rare product until the Middle Ages.
Indigo (denim) is made using Indigofera plants. By extracting the natural dye indigo, daily white fabrics were transformed into a 'luxury' deep blue cloth. A very valuable ability transferred from generation to generation. An indigo cloth meant wealth, abundance and fertility.