bluehanded artisanal natural hand dyed indigo textile



natural indigo dye fabric drying artisanal traditional hand made
Lan Yin Hua Bu drying in the sun


Bluehanded artisanal natural hand dyed indigo textile

The History of Lan Yin Hua Bu Fabric

Bluehanded artisanal natural hand dyed indigo textile dates back to the Song dynasty, over 800 years ago, resist printing skills enjoy a long history, the process can be mainly divided into four types: Tie Dye, Batik, Valerian Fold and Blue Calico.

The Mandarin name for indigo dyed toile or calico is lan yin hua bu – blue-printed flower cloth, a more poetic name that ties it firmly to its flower-based designs. Other prints are simple, geometric, and despite being centuries old they look surprisingly modern. 

Lan Yin Hua Bu refers to the blue grass [indigo] derived dye. The designs are made with the use of powdered soybean and lime for the resist paste technique using hand cut stencil paper for the intricate patterns. Each part of the design and dyeing process is done by an Indigo Master of over 50 years experience. His skills were handed down by four previous Masters using unchanged traditional methods.  


Brand Story

BLUEHANDED has an exclusive relationship with the Master, working closely together to achieve the highest quality, standards and customer service to develop and work with designers around the world for bespoke and exclusive patterns.

Our hand made indigo fabrics are artisanal products that preserve vanishing skills and culture.

The slow fashion style is based on the same principles of the slow food movement, as the alternative to mass-produced, fast fashion. The slow movement intends to reject mass-produced products, referring only to fabric and products made by hand.


  • bluehanded artisanal natural hand dyed indigo textile
  • Handmade: hand cut patterns, resist paste printing, dying and stitching
  • Natural Indigo plant dyes, soybean, lime ingredients
  • Artisanal Traditional vat dying.  Our vat is over 20 years in continuous operation
  • Slow movement, takes time to make it the way it should be made
  • Sustains local communities who supply the materials and ingredients
  • Traditional techniques surviving till today with minimal wastage or pollution
  • An extensive selection of timeless Blue and White motifs
  • Ability to customise or make designs that follow stencil pattern methods
  • Customer service; working with designers to create exclusive patterns
  • Indigenous Culture where you the buyer, can participate and support ancient craftsmanship
  • Highly skilled craftsmanship from a succession of Indigo Masters





BLUEHANDED begins it’s journey of independent design & craftsmanship on the Silk Road, discovering a craft that is ancient but still relevant & contemporary.

BLUEHANDED hands; the Indigo Masters hands are permanently blue from years of working with natural indigo. The BLUEHANDED logo is from the hand of one of these masters.

Blue & White:
The cross between Western & Eastern design has a long & rich history. Blue & White porcelains have been & continue to be desirable. The classic beauty & attraction of this fresh colour scheme is expressed through naturally indigo dyed fabrics, still hand made, in the traditional ways.

BLUEHANDED is passionate about preserving this beautiful craft through vintage & newly produced fabrics, sold separately or combined together. The fabric has many possibilities for men’s, women’s accessories & home decoration.

We work with the trade & designers to explore this fabric in new ways that have a timeless quality. The challenge & result is to achieve contemporary uses for this ancient craft.


John Abbate


John Abbate


John Abbate's Retail experience in store design, visual merchandising & brand building with Ralph Lauren, Levis & Alfred Dunhill. International experience covering Asia, Europe & America

In 2011, after 25 years of working for big brands he started designing up-cycled furniture under 'R-incarnation', then moved to Asia starting his own retail consulting agency, John Abbate Studio and was a Visual Merchandising professor at Mod'Art and Creative Director at Design Overlay.  He created the concept of BLUEHANDED in 2015 by stumbling upon a vintage piece of fabric found in a demotion site of an old part of the city.

Always in love with indigo, he rediscovered an ancient technique of indigo and brought it to the 'west' for other 'indigoists' to appreciate.  Hand made from beginning to end, the product is timeless and  beautiful.  It is rich in: colour, technique, history and character.  For those who share the passion of indigo, this is fabric is a treasure from the silk road and from an ancient past that continues today in small villages.  Nothing to do with today's mass production and fast fashion we are becoming all too used to.

Coming from a family of craftsman, John has always been a champion of the hand made, craftsmanship and the luxurious.  Concerned with the direction the world is going in, something that takes time to make, is natural and has a long heritage, is just what we have been looking for.  We hope to share the depth of this indigo product with you for you to relish, appreciate and wear knowing you are also preserving a skill and way of life that is worthy of your good taste and sensitivity to this unique fabric.

Please contact John for more information on BLUEHANDED'S products or services to the design trade.