Natural dyes are derived from sources mostly of plant origin, extracted from roots, wood, bark, berries, lichens, leaves, flowers, nuts, and seeds. Some natural dyes are extracted from insects, shellfish, and mineral compounds, but we use only dyes of plant origins.
A brief history
The art of plant dying is as ancient as the world (almost) and as magical as a fairytale. The process is slow and has evolved over the centuries but has not changed significantly since its origin.
The evidence of textile dyeing dates back as early as the Neolithic Period. They were found all over the world from Europe to Asia. Approximately 4000 dyed textiles have been found in Egyptian tombs, including in the cloth of mummies.
Throughout history, people have dyed their textiles using simple, locally available materials. A few rare dye materials that produced brilliant and permanent colours, such as Tyrian purple, became highly prized luxury items in the medieval world.
Synthetic dyes came to use in the 1850s, so natural dyes were the only source of colour for textile in the times before. However, they have faced a steep decline in usage since.
Today natural dyeing technique is usually used in small quantities by artists and craftspeople and preserved by artisans in traditional cultures across the globe.
We have fallen in love with the technique of hand dyeing on our first try. The meditative process of preparing the ingredients and soaking the fabric involves multiple steps and takes quite some time, so it perfectly fits our slow fashion concept.
To collect sufficient quantities of dye material, we have built a small community of "gatherers" (read family & friends). They collect certain types of food waste, which we turn into dyes. We love using this zero-waste approach to minimize our environmental impact. All our dyes are non-toxic and biodegradable. Water usage is regulated by resuing the dye baths several times, which varies the tonal spectra of the dyed fabric.
We treat this ancient process with respect and consider ourselves to be involved with everlasting artisan culture.
The Uniqueness of Handdyed Clothing
Natural dyes are as unpredictable as nature itself, so they may not always produce a uniform shade as do synthetic dyes. Small imperfections and shade variations are expected and part of the beauty of hand-dyed fabric. We do not consider this uniqueness as a flaw but rather as the character and personality of the piece.