The leaves of the subtropical shrub Indiofera Tinctoria, when carefully harvested, soaked and fermented, produce the dye indigo. India was the first country to cultivate the plant and master the labor-intensive process that resulted in textiles dyed with a blue color so deep it almost reaches into black. The richness and depth of indigo seem commensurate with the effort exerted to produce it. This quality proved extremely desirable, and India supplied the powdered dye to the Greco -Roman world and the Middle East.
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