Sanxia indigo dyeing workshop demonstrates the beauty of Strobilanthes formosanus

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Flowers of the Strobilanthes formosanus plant on Wuliaojian Mountain in Sanxia are like the myriad stars in the sky. With its distinctive blue-purple flowers and opposite leaf arrangement, Strobilanthes formosanus is a beautiful flower and the raw material for indigo dyeing.

 

Making indigo dye from Strobilanthes formosanus and transforming this into garments is an entirely manual process. Because each unique item of clothing is hand-made, they sell for a comparatively higher price than regular high-street clothes, making it more difficult to attract buyers. Due to this fact, the industry struggles to secure a steady return flow of funds.

 

Lecturer Liao, Pao-Kui (廖寶桂), who has been actively engaged in indigo dyeing for 20 years, hopes that the participation of forest farmers will increase the output of Strobilanthes formosanus and thereby help reduce the cost of indigo dye. Moreover, she proposes that the government establishes a licensing system to give employers more peace of mind when hiring. This would also provide recognition and protection for indigo artisans and help to attract younger people to learn this traditional craft.

 

以下為中文對照

新北三峽藍染工藝 看見馬藍花之美

滿山滿谷的馬藍花就好像星星一樣點綴三峽五寮尖山。馬藍來自三峽的丘陵地,有藍紫色的花朵和對葉。它們不只是花,還是藍染的原材料。

馬藍從變成染料,到做成藍染服飾等成品都要人手加工,每一件作品都是獨一無二,價格自然壓不下來,較難吸引人購買,資金也難回流到業者手上。

從事藍染20年的講師廖寶桂,她除了希望林農的加入可以使馬藍和藍染的產量提升和降低成本以外,更提議政府建立證照制度,讓雇主聘用他們的時候可以更安心,對師傅們也是一種認同與保障,順便吸引年輕人學習這項傳統工藝。

 

 

 

 

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Sanxia indigo dyeing workshop demonstrates the beauty of Strobilanthes formosanus

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