Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Azo-free and Eco

For ages, I have had a thing for eco-textiles warrior, renowned dyer and textile artist India Flint's work. I think it's the mark-making that gets me in. I'll be straight up, I for one don't have a wardrobe full of linens, silks and organic cottons, dyed using natural dyes, although I have undertaken this natural dye process a few times with silk and cotton scarf strips, and I think it is quite gorgeous. India's first book is Eco Colour: Environmentally Sustainable Dyes. The process needs a bit of planning, because you need to soak and extract pigments and 'mordant' the natural fabrics, by soaking in something like a copper or aluminium pot, or adding an aluminium or potassium derivative. The mordant sets the dye on the fabric. Forget trying to dye synthetics, there's no way the natural hues will penetrate.

I love the bugle bead detail on this scarf! It was done by one of the 'workers' free-hand, and I was astounded by the talent!

India uses pigments derived from all sorts of processes, from organic to leaving metals in fabrics to corrode and leave an intriguing mark. Have a look at these eco-friendly pieces, carefully and patiently crafted by the workers under my tutelage! The colours are wonderful, and the painstaking beading treatment is to be admired. I am proud of them!

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