- A natural dark blue colorant obtained from the tropical Indigofera tinctoria plants. The use of indigo was first mentioned in Indian manuscripts in the 4th century BCE; it was first exported to Europe in Roman times. The natural material is collected as a precipitate from a fermented solution of the plant, where the coloring component, indigotin, is extracted as a colorless glycoside that turns blue with oxidation. Indigo is a fine, intense powder which may be used directly as a pigment in oil, tempera, or watercolor media. Since the exposed pigment can fade rapidly in strong sunlight, it is rarely used in art or fine textiles today. However, it is still used to dye jeans, where its fading and uneven coloring have become favorable characteristics.
- A mode of dyeing in which the cloth is tied in different places, to prevent the parts from receiving the dye. It is done by hand create colored patterns in the fabric by gathering together many small portions of material and tying them tightly with string before immersing the cloth in the dyebath. The dye fails to penetrate the tied sections. After drying, the fabric is untied to reveal irregular circles, dots, stripes, or other shapes. Varicoloured patterns may be produced by repeated tying and dipping in additional colours. This hand method, common in India and Indonesia, has been adapted to machines.
- Styles and cultures from the region comprising the westernmost area of the African continent, defined by the United Nations as including the modern nations of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.