We believe in the beauty and value of traditional craftsmanship.
Our hand dyed silks are lovingly crafted the old-fashioned way; using quality botanical ingredients and age-old, traditional methods on the finest Japanese silk.
Made entirely by hand in our Sydney-based studio, our aim is to create unique, one-of-a-kind heirlooms that you will treasure for years to come.
The plant dyeing process is a slow-crafted one, requiring many hours of dedication and a bucket load of patience!
PREPARING THE SILK
Firstly the silk is thoroughly washed to remove any residual oil from the manufacturing process. This crucial step ensures that an even dye result is achieved. Depending on the dye material to be used, the silk may also require the application of a mordant. The word mordant comes from the Latin mordere which means “to bite”. Using a mordant allows the dye to bind with the silk, resulting in a colour that is both wash-resistant and lightfast.
EXTRACTING THE COLOUR
Our dye ingredients are either foraged from fallen plant matter, found in the kitchen or purchased from herbalists and specialist natural dye suppliers. The dye material is then cleaned, soaked and steeped - anywhere from a few hours and up to a week - to extract the dye colour.
DYEING THE FABRIC
After straining the plant material from the dye pot, the silk is then immersed in the bath and simmered for another 1-2 hours, depending on the desired saturation. The dye bath is gently stirred from time to time to ensure an even distribution of colour. Deeper colours are left to steep overnight before being removed and washed with a PH neutral soap and being hung to dry.
After the fabric has been left to cure for a few days, it is then torn into 3 metre lengths, gently frayed for a soft edge, hot pressed and rolled - all entirely by hand.
ABOUT ME (the botanist)
An eternal traditionalist and romantic at heart, I believe that true beauty lies in the detail and that the greatest joy can often be found in the simplest things.
My affinity with flowers was inherited; my mother was a florist and both of my grandparents were avid gardeners. Through her quietly voiced observations, my mother passed on her extensive flower vocabulary, which in turn was passed on from her father. As a little girl I remember Pa would sit on an old, paint-splashed stool, meticulously pruning his bonsai collection to perfection, sculpting them into miniature pieces of art. In the language of flowers and the art of slow-craft I learnt from two of the best.
At design school, when my peers were learning how to create vectors on gigantic blue iMacs, I was scrupulously studying the flower paintings of the 17th century Dutch masters, exploring the subtleties of oil colour palettes and experimenting with the old-world charm of handwritten type.
For me, the simple pleasure of carefully crafting something by hand is imbued with a sense of wonder, meaning and intimacy that enriches my life. I hope that by keeping these age-old traditions alive, I impart a little bit of that feeling into yours.