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Chances are, any blue fabrics you own have been dyed using chemicals because it’s cheaper and easier to do. However, five Japanese farmers are still dedicated to the old-school art of indigo-dying fabrics.

Indigo-dyed clothing results in richer blues and has a surprising range of qualities like antibacterial and flame-resistant characteristics, as well as the fact that it repels odor and dirt.

The process dates back to the 1600s and is firmly rooted in Japanese culture, with Samurais wearing indigo-dyed fabrics under their armor to help keep bacteria from wounds.

Today, the art of the process is dying. As far as we know, only five farmers are left to keep the tradition of growing indigo alive in Japan.

Watch the video above to learn more about the dying process and why these farmers are still at it today.

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