Natural dyes are able to achieve subtle nuances of colour that are unobtainable with the synthetic dyeing process. The shades produced are soft, earthy and luminescent and are often referred to as "living" colours. This quality enables them to effortlessly adapt to different lighting environments and shift their tone to harmoniously blend with flowers. Combined with the finest, sheer, Habotai silks they are, quite simply, natural beauty amplified.
In 1856 the chemist William Henry Perkin accidentally discovered the first synthetic dye Mauvine, marking the beginning of rampant commercially colouring.
Fast forward to 2018 and there are now an estimated 8000 chemicals used in the synthetic dyeing process. The World Bank has identified 72 toxic chemicals in our water that originate purely from fabric dyes. 30 of these are unable to be removed and many are known cancer-causing agents.*
No nasty chemicals in the natural dyeing process means no nasties in our wastewater. Not only are plant based dyes non-toxic but they also use significantly less water and energy. In fact, they are so nutrient rich that we use the exhausted dyebaths to water and fertilise the garden. It's a win, win.
Not only are natural dyes safe for skin contact and non-hazardous to human health, but many of the botanical ingredients we dye with contain ayurvedic, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that are proven to be curative and therapeutic.
The language of flowers has fascinated people for centuries. Many of the botanicals we dye with are rich in symbolic meaning, adding that extra special touch to your bridal bouquet or wedding invitation suite.
Rosemary represents remembrance and good luck; sunflowers adoration and loyalty; the dahlia epitomises deep commitment and willow bark is known as the tree of dreaming and enchantment.
Our all time favourite? The hibiscus flower used to dye our Egyptian Rose silk ribbon, which represents delicate beauty or the "perfect bride". Need we say more?
The art of dyeing with botanicals dates back almost 6000 years to the age of antiquity. This knowledge and tradition has almost been completely wiped out in just a few generations since the discovery of the first synthetic dye in 1856.
Dyeing with botanical ingredients requires a mastery of craft and mindful making that engages all of the senses. We believe that this age-old tradition with its harmonious colour, therapeutic qualities, subtle nuances and rich symbolism is worthy of keeping alive. Do you?