Johan Åberg a.k.a. Dyeforindigo


Johan Åberg is an artist/artisan who founded Dyeforindigo in 2016, a Gothenburg based indigo studio offering natural indigodyeing, shibori and sashiko workshops and lectures. Johan cherish materials meant to last and works in a way that not only benefits people and the planet, but also unifies sustainability with ethics, and ultimately invites people to be creative, and invest in well-made and lasting products through good decisions. We cherish Johan for his knowledge, passion and will to share it.

Fine Little Day invited Johan to design something from a leftover linen textile from an earlier production.

The textile, a jacquard-woven linen fabric, was dyed blue and became a patched cushion cover and a kimono, inspired by a 150-year-old model that Johan bought during one of his trips to Japan. Our hope is that this garment will be worn with the same long-term thinking as Johan’s Japanese references. Treat it carefully and let the repairs become part of the garment’s expression, like the annual rings on a tree. The Dyeforindigo collection also includes indigo-colored muslin blankets and mobiles made of wooden sticks Johan picked in Gothenburg’s harbor, two posters and a linen wall hanging.  It’s a collection that celebrates passionate craftsmanship, sustainability and the color blue!  All in a limited edition.

Follow Johan’s account @dyeforindigo


A collection that celebrates passionate craftsmanship, sustainability and the color blue!  All in a limited edition.

Our creative director Elisabeth Dunker talked with Johan about his craft.

How do you work, and how would you describe yourself in your professional role?

After more than twenty years in the fashion / textile industry with insight into the poor prevailing environment and working situations in the industry, I left it to focus on textile crafts, local production, plant dyeing and work shops. Today, I work exclusively with traditional and sustainable methods such as natural indigo dyeing and the Japanese repair technique Sashiko. A large part of my work consists of arranging workshops in these techniques and raise questions regarding sustainability and recycling. I have always been fond of worn and unique things, something that has led to a collection of workwear, denim and antique textiles, mostly blue of course : )

Tell us about your interest in Japanese textile crafts? 

It is probably mainly about the indigo pigment, this complex pigment that is surrounded by so much mystery. There is a lot in the Japanese aesthetic that appeals to me, and the combination of “Mottainai” (do not waste), the careful and great attention to details and the respect for the material. The Japanese patched textiles called Boro with its sashiko stitches and patterns reflecta a craft that was born out of a pure need for survival. The poor working class textiles with patched layers upon layers of garments have so much to tell. 

What is your relationship to Brännö? 

I have always felt welcome on the island of Brännö. It has been easy to work with the locals. I have had a summer store in an old shipyard, several work shops and concerts and also spent a lot of time there with my family. Brännö and the nature reserve of Galterö are truly gems of Sweden. 

What does an ultimate work situation look like for you?

I thrive very well in my roll as a tutor and enjoy to work in a context. Working completely independently is not really my thing, I’m probably too restless and too social for that! I enjoy a mix of work shops, collaborations and a bit of my own exploration. 

Future dreams / plans?

It would have been fun to scale up the dyeing process itself, and be able to offer a functional work shop location, a non-toxic and sustainable dyeing process to companies, in a larger scale than I can today. Start a large indigo cultivation and offer the possibility to manage the whole process from seed to color. I have several collaborations coming up in 2020, a research project with HDK (School of Arts and Crafts) and Chalmers (University of Technology) and an exchange with local craftsmen women in Kenya, which I hope will bear fruit and develop further, as well as work shops and lectures.


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