Dyeing and Digital Printing
We use a combination of Botanical and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified low-impact dyes.
Natural dyes have always been a significant part of Indian culture and heritage. My great-grandmother loved using natural herbs and spices to derive vibrant hues for dyeing her clothes in the 1930s. With botanical dyeing, we hope to honour her legacy and keep this age-old tradition alive at the atelier.
Working with natural hues is steeped in tradition + technique and our way of celebrating our heritage as well as our connection with nature.
We have the privilege of working with Suvetah, a woman-led team of artisans who take care of our beautiful botanical dyeing in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, a northern Indian state in the Himalayas.
What we love about botanical dyeing is that it is an incredibly slow and therapeutic process from start to finish. It's magical how herbs, plants and other floral botanicals can come together to bring such glorious hues to life. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months for a particular flower or plant to blossom before we can use it for dyeing.
Incorporating responsible botanical dyeing as part of our processes is not only ethereal and sustainable, it enables us to support local farmer communities and other related livelihoods.
Another ethereal part of working with biodynamic botanicals are the infinite possibilities and wondrous unpredictability . The climate where the plants flourish, the water temperature, the stage at which the plant is harvested, the type of soil- all have a symbiotic role in the hue achieved. This means that the slightest variation in any of these can lead to subtle or major differences in the colour tone. This process is magical and for us, akin to alchemy.
This is why there are tonal differences between different dye batches, even when working with the exact same colour. These beautiful differences are a gift and meant to be celebrated.
We treat all our materials and material origins with the utmost respect and recognise our responsibility in ensuring ethical + responsible harvesting and sourcing. Our botanical dyes come from wildcrafted botanicals, food waste as well as sustainably farmed plants and herbs. Always non-toxic, our botanical dyes are biodegradable and sustainably sourced + produced.
A Note on Wildcrafted Botanicals
Wildcrafting is the gathering of native herbs and plants from their natural habitats, where they grow freely in pristine environments, untouched by humans.
They are carefully handpicked in an environmentally conscious way where incredible care is taken to only harvest the part of the plant that is needed and will be used in the foreseeable future, in order to preserve their existence in their natural environment. This age-old practice believes in preserving and protecting local ecosystems and native biodiversity by replenishing what you take.
This can be a sustainable way of sourcing when done with care and with plants that can sustain the harvesting process, as it involves utilising what nature has to offer.
Wildcrafting ensures you get the highest nutritional value from the plants you pick because they grow untouched. These herbs and plants are carefully selected and handpicked at the peak of harvest, at their most beautiful and potent best.
We use wildcrafted herbs and plants in very small quantities for minuscule dye batches as taking too much from beautiful, pristine ecoscapes would have an adverse impact. We endeavour to source locally wherever possible and ensure that our wildcrafted ingredients are sourced from suppliers and farmers who share our commitment towards social responsibility and positive environmental practices.
Due to the harvesting techniques, wildcrafted plants and herbs cannot be called organic despite having grown freely in pristine natural environments, untouched by humans.
GOTS Certified Low Impact Dyeing
These dyes pose no health risks at any stage of their lifecycle and are safer for the people who work with them as well as the consumers. These certifications ensure that any downstream run off safely ends up in biological ecosystems without impacting the health of local, fresh water sources and ecological life.