Natural dyes offer an alternative to the industry standard toxic dyes derived from petrochemicals.
Chemical dyes have a huge negative impact on the health of the environment and for those working in the global fashion industry today.
By using with natural dyes these specific issues are avoided. However, it's not all plain sailing... the problem with dyeing naturally is that a lot of water and dyestuff is needed to produce a strong and even colour.
By creating bespoke or small batch garments and accessories, I prevent dyeing more than I need and use each bath until it is exhausted. I also keep all scrap fabric from dyeing and sewing tests to be used for other products.
I only use dyes that are either food waste or plants grown in Britain, whether bought or foraged.
The pictograms (below) are used as symbols to identify where each dye has been used - a way of celebrating the origin of each natural colour.
By using patchwork garment construction, I can use smaller pieces of fabric and achieve a better quality colour finish (in smaller dye vats like the one I use it’s difficult to produce even and well-saturated colour results on large pieces of fabric).
The many pattern pieces in my original clothing designs also means that options for adjustments are plentiful. This could be in size, pattern or shape, or in fabric and colour choices - a whole world of choices for creating bold but wearable garments.
Also, by using pattern pieces with only straight edges, I can reduce fabric waste when pattern cutting. Any waste that is created are in easy to sew pieces for smaller items to be made, like small pouches available to buy here (link this).
The illustrations below show a few examples of how adding, removing, and changing the triangle pieces can transform each garment pattern.