Inspiring Natural Dye Artists/Co.

William Perkin discovered mauveine – the first synthetic dye – in 1856 and everything changed. Now we are back to rediscovering our roots in natural dyes.

Aura Herbal Wear in India
An advanced herbal dye company in India. They start with bleaching their fibers using sunlight, manure and a natural grass base. Their process form beginning to end is detailed and specific. Their dyes are minerals and herbal oils and they use castor oil during the finishing and stretching process. (click on the link to see more in details on their process) In the true nature of India, they recycle the used matter completing a full life cycle and paying homage to the medicinal aspect of each herb.

Erin Considine in NY

Her new collection employs the use of natural dyes:  cutch, logwood and madder. Marrying metal and fabric into each piece, Erin stays true to her sculpture roots. Her experimentalism reaches even further by re-purposing found deadstock and using craft techniques such as a Japanese braiding method, kumihimo.

Velma Bolyard of the Adirondack Blue Line

Works with making traditional Japanse shifu paper from the Kozo plant. After it is beaten and stretched into paper sheets it is cut into strips, spun, dyed using natural plant matter and woven.

India Flint in Australia

She works with bio-regionally gathered, ecologically sustainable plant dyes as a personal expression using processes she describes as botanical alchemy. The picture is a talisman dress.

Tinctory in the UK

Tinctor means ‘dyer’ in Latin. Tinctory makes smocked textile jewelry made from naturally dyed silk using these ingredients:  indigo (including home grown), coreopsis (home grown), madder, walnut, onion, logwood, hawthorne, goldenrod
and tea.

Rubia in the Netherlands

Rubia Natural Colours would like to contribute to decreasing water pollution by creating natural colouring agents for commercial businesses. They use plants to extract colouring agents like madder. They license their own farmers on order to have control over the quality.

Casa Clementina in Italy

A home factory in Italy where every weekend there are courses, meetings and conferences national and international textile traditions and dyeing.

Audrey Louise Reynolds in NY

Ms. Reynolds achieved the swirl of purples, grays and burnt oranges by hand-pressing dyes directly into the silk. She then soaked them in more dye made from rust while creating chemical reactions with powdered minerals. She also used wood-burning tools to melt and burn pieces of the fabric and even buried them in dirt to make them look aged and distressed.

Gilded Age in NY

Gilded creates their jean and hand-knitted sweater collection using some of the oldest machinery that is still used in industrial production as well as some of the oldest natural dyes known to man. Volcanic mud dye (a form of natural iron oxide), parchment, natural charcoal, tea, logwood, Japanese Alder and natural indigo are some of the dyes used in variety of their products.


One response to “Inspiring Natural Dye Artists/Co.

  1. Mary-
    It is great to see all of these designers and artisans upholding the natural dye tradition. There was a symposium at Parsons yesterday (5/4) Called “Coloring Fashion” that was sponsored by the Fashion Department, and it revolved around the use and viability of natural dyes being used in the industry. Michele Wipplinger from Earthhues was there and she showed examples of natural dye methods being used all over the world:

    Tom Chappell, the founder of Toms of Maine also attended the conference to speak about his new business venture; a sustainable clothing line made from local fine Rambouillet worsted wool (from Maine!) that is dyed using natural dyes:


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