Last Updated on September 28, 2023
Some colors are just downright charismatic and somewhat mesmerizing; Indigo is one of them. It’s a deep color with marvelous depth and an alluring hue. It’s a spicier version of the color blue!
But how was this color created, and what is its relationship with science? Let’s find out all there is to know about the fascinating Indigo.
What Color Is Indigo?
Indigo is the seventh color in the rainbow spectrum and it is found between blue and violet. On the color wheel, it is sought a mixture between aquatic blue and fresh ultramarine that results in an elegant purple hue. Technically, indigo is more blue than purple. It is three-quarters blue and one-quarter purple.
History and Origins of Indigo
Indigo is found abundantly in nature. It comes from the plant species called ‘Indigofera’ found in East Asia, Egypt, India, and Peru. The locals of these regions have been extracting indigo dye from these plants for centuries.
The first Indigo dye dates back to 4000 B.C. Previously Indigo dye was extracted by the woad plant Isatis Tintoria, especially in Europe but soon the bluer Indigofera species was popularized for making Indigo dye.
How is Indigo dye made?
Indigo powder is first extracted from the leaves of the Indigo plant; then it is made into chips or balls, which are then again ground to a fine powder. This powder is added to big tanks that contain enzymes, and after a series of different processing, the mixture is filtered and dried to make a thick paste.
In India, it is cultivated by small farmers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, and Rajasthan.
Indigo and Science
Indigo showed up on the color wheel in the mid-17th Century when Sir Isaac Newton proved to the world that white light is composed of 7 distinct colors and one of them was Indigo. He showed that white light could be split into 7 colors by using a prism.
This is why we see 7 colors in the rainbow because that is when white light is separated into distinct colors by nature.
However, people now argue that there should have been 6 colors in the rainbow instead of 7 since Violet and Indigo are far too similar to distinguish.
The best answer to this is that Sir Isaac Newton at the time thought 7 to be a magical or divine number (like the 7 spiritual planes, the 7 seas or the 7 musical notes) so he decided to punch on 7 colors in the rainbow color wheel.
Meaning of Indigo
Indigo is known as the color of intuition and is linked to spirituality. It is often related to things that are not seen and are concealed in the oblivion. It symbolizes servitude to humanity, and some associate it with achieving a higher level of consciousness.
Since it is a spiritual color linked with many old traditions and religions, some might think of it as an outdated color with somewhat of an obsolete relation to spirituality and ancient cultures.
Shades of Indigo
Indigo has four gorgeous and popular shades: Electric Indigo, Blue Violet, Web Color Indigo & Indigo Dye.
Electric Indigo is a vibrant, saturated color that is a mix of traditional Indigo, which is blue and violet, giving it a vivid purplish tint.
Blue Violet (also known as Deep Indigo) is not as bright as Electric Indigo but is a tad bit brighter than traditional Indigo, making it incline more over to the purple side.
Web Indigo is the color you see in synthetic pigments, dyes, and color pencils; it is more of a matted purple.
Last but not least, Indigo Dye is the original color of the dye extracted from the leaves and is closer to blue. It is more accurately described as midnight blue.
Are Indigo and Violet the same?
Violet has a cooler tone than Indigo. Indigo is a warm toned color and falls somewhere between violet and purple. Violet also takes on a more darker hue than Indigo.
Color Combinations with Indigo
Classic colors that pair well with Indigo are Dark Blue and White. This is one color combination you can’t go wrong with. It is timeless, classic, and it is guaranteed to steal frequent glances!
If you want a more vibrant or bold look, then reach out for a bit of fiery and sultry Red. Red and Indigo make an enticing pair, but this duo is not for the faint of heart. This color combination is often seen in exotic flowers; the bold energy of red balances out the calming effect that is associated with Indigo.
Ever seen how Parrots with Electric yellow, green, and Indigo look so eccentric and pleasing to the eyes? If you want to kick it up a notch and bring a ‘WOW’ factor to your look, then try pairing Indigo with Electric yellow-green to brighten everything up.
A cool, subtle Indigo background with a fresh dash of yellow-green is sure to bring in some spice. Want to have a more rustic, vintage feel? Then try pairing up Indigo with Brown. It’s bound to bring about a boho yet vintage feel to the palette.