The well ✿ Stories of natural dyes

Garden of Stories

The natural dye process needs water. As the well draws water from the ground, dyeing extracts colour from the plants. The well can be an integral part of a flourishing garden.

Garland Perennial, Janet Teowarang, reflects on the meaning of natural dyes for her:

When I first encountered natural dyes in the year 2018, I was fascinated by how the variety of local plants, fruits, and seeds in Pasuruan Regency, East Java, Indonesia, can produce beautiful, earthy colors in Indonesian batik and handloom textiles. The process involves a lengthy immersion dyeing procedure to achieve the right color, which should be valued and acknowledged in a slow fashion process. Before, I liked bright solid colors, but now I appreciate natural dyes. Now, I prefer mostly wearing fashion pieces made of natural dyeing; with this, I can feel tranquil, closer to nature, and respect the environment.

Enjoy stories from Garland that feature natural dyes. Through this process, the garden becomes something that we can actually wear, every day.

Zakiyaben and Adilbhai Khatri: Kindred explorers - In an extract from Judy Frater's forthcoming book, two bandhani artisans share their journey with Somaiya Kala Vidya to realise their designs in successful careers.
Prita Tina Yeganeh ✿ The Sanctum of Qanāt - Our July laurel has adapted the traditional Iranian Abrī printing technique to works on silk involving micro-lattice patterns.
Transforming the landscape into colour: India’s natural dyes - MAP Academy detail the development of India's iconic natural dyes: madder, indigo and lac.
Spacecraft ✿ A future from what remains - Stewart Russell at Spacecraft recovers robust colours from the debris of human activity, envisaging a sustainable future.
Kuulua vuohmaan: Belonging to a mire - Ida Isak Westerberg returns to the queer space of mire in order to recover their Tornedalian identity, imprinting their tapestries with its colours.
MAOTA: Five yarn dyed colours, inspired by Aizome - Alisa Ota Tietboehl reflects on her journey growing up around the world, where she developed a passion for Japanese craftsmanship and textiles.
Project Dor ✿ Care to wear - Aparna Negi promotes a textile project involving migrant women from Bihar and Jharkhand.
How the dye was cast on the road back to Laos - Samorn Sanixay shares the story of her return to Laos and one of her delicious rose and onion dye recipes.
East and west, warp and weft - Blake Griffiths reflects on the textile that emerged from his journey east.
Jember Batik: The dragon rises - Geraldus Sugeng describes the unique batik designs that come from the town of Jember and are now seen around the world.
Indonesia’s generation Z takes up shibori - Janet Teowarang writes about a collaboration between industry and students keen to develop sustainable fashion.
Sally Blake ✿ Holding hope - Vy Tsan introduces an exhibition by Sally Blake that reflects the cycle of destruction and regeneration in the Canberra landscape.
Ryndia silk of the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya - Nisa Lyndem speaks for her Khasi culture in north-east Indian and the beautiful silk dyed shawls that bear its tradition.
Decay is beautiful - Samorn Sanixay reflects on the uses of decomposition in textile dyeing and how it resonates with Buddhism and the refugee experience.
Sanggar Batik Batara in Baujeng Village - Janet Teowarang describes a successful program to introduce batik skills to factory workers
The fragrant tuberose: Collaborative eco-printing by batik artisans from Pasuruan Regency in East Java - Janet Teowarang finds innovation from nature among a new generation of batik artisans in East Java.
Inspired by the peoli ✿ Textiles that emerge between the river and the forest - Vasanthi shares her experience of nurturing a grounded textile enterprise in Uttarakhand.
Ndomo: Beauty from mud in Mali - Rebecca Hoyes visits Segou on the Niger river to learn the secret of bogolan, mud cloth.
The craft wisdom of Kutch weaving - Fourth-generation Kutch weaver Rajan Vankar shares the craft wisdom of this unique textile tradition.
Cracking the colour code: The Maiwa-Khatri partnership - Charllotte Kwon and Abdul Jabbar Khatri share their sides of the story about their enduring Indian-Canadian partnership.
Catharine Ellis and the journey of True Colors - We feature weld-dyer Catharine Ellis, from the book True Colors, by Keith Recker who reflects on the principles that underlie his life in colour, thus far.
A perfect red: The tale of a dye - An artist's quest for the origin of red takes Eric Mindling to the legendary Oaxaca village of Teotitlan del Valle.
Sairi Yoshizawa ✿ The colours of eucalyptus - Sairi Yoshizawa's recent award-winning work applies a particularly Japanese approach to Australian nature, revealing the rustic beauty of eucalypt dyes.
Julie Ryder ✿ Hidden Sex - Canberra textile artist Julie Ryder shares her series of beautiful works that reveal the subterfuge of sea plants and parallel hidden place of women in scientific history.
Local colour: The search for a plant dye industry in Sydney Cove - Liz Williamson reveals the importance of natural dyes in the establishment of Sydney as a British colonial settlement.
Learning from a master: Making bilas with natural dyes in PNG - Joycelin Leahy reflects on what she learned growing up with the craft experts from her village in Papua New Guinea
For the love of Lao – Studio Naenna - Ansie van der Walt profiles Patricia Cheesman, the founder of Studio Naenna, a remarkable business that now provides work for weavers from northeast Thailand and Laos. It began when she was charmed by Laotian hospitality.

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