A heavily photographed guide to making natural plant dyes and using these dyes to create clothing and home decor, with over two dozen projects and ideas for every season, detailed instructions on dye methods and botanical information about the plants used. Natural Color focuses on achievable projects throughout the seasons.
Following the incredible success of the slow food movement, the slow fashion trend is now gaining momentum, with more and more consumers buying locally produced clothing and homewares created using sustainable methods and artisanal techniques. Natural Color explores the full spectrum of seasonal plant dyes, using nature as a color library. Unlike its competitors, Natural Color is structured by season, not plant, focusing on achievable projects with easy-to-follow recipes for dyeing everything from dresses, scarves, and hats to rugs, napkins, and table runners, ensuring that even the most savvy home decorator will be inspired.
Sasha Duerr is an artist and designer who works with organic dyes and fibers, focusing on the creative reuse of materials. She is dedicated to a cross-pollination of textiles and environmental systems thinking, gaining inspiration from the ecological principles found in permaculture, as well as from regenerative design for food, clothing, and shelter. In 2007, Sasha founded Permacouture Institute to encourage sustainable design and education from the ground up in fashion and textiles. Through Permacouture, Sasha has addressed audiences on natural dyes and sustainable textiles at colleges and u
CONTENTS 1 LIVING COLOR: AN INTRODUCTION 11 THE PRACTICE OF PLANT DYEING 43 SPRING 52 CREATING COLOR THROUGH FOOD 79 SUMMER 90 THE ANCIENT PRIMARY COLORS: MADDER, WELD, AND INDIGO 122 THE SPECTRUM OF NATURAL COLOR 131 FALL 150 NATURAL COLOR FROM PERSIMMON 169 THE ART OF MEDICINAL DYEING 175 WINTER 202 WEEDING YOUR WARDROBE 209 WORKBOOK 211 MORDANTS AND MODIFIERS 235 TECHNIQUES
As seen in Sunset Magazine, Sweet Paul, Well + Good, Pacific Horticulture, Sacramento Street, and many more! "She is at the forefront of the "slow fashion" movement." --Publishers Weekly
"Sasha Duerr teaches us to look to nature for inspiration, using botanicals to create subtle, painterly hues. Her ecologically sound approach is both ancient and modern and thoroughly in tune with the times--all photographed to beautifully capture the subtlety of her work." --Julie Carlson, Remodelista editor in chief
"A rich resource of indoor, plant-based DIYs" --Garden Collage
"One of the prettiest books to land on our desks" --The Chalkboard
"Discover the wonderful world of natural dye." --Atlas Magazine
"Sasha Duerr's book is all about the kind of awareness we need -- not only for making better choices, but also for tuning into the cycle and offerings of nature. As Duerr points out, nature is the ultimate instructor, an invaluable source of color, inspiration and innovation for all creative endeavors." --Santa Cruz Sentinel
"Sasha makes a seemingly complicated process appear less daunting. Her beautifully illustrated book is filled with easy-to-follow recipes and ingredients that we all have on hand, in our gardens, or compost piles!" --Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home
"In Natural Color, Sasha shares her extraordinary gift for seeing color in nature. Through accessible projects and seasonal plant dying recipes, Sasha brings beautiful color to our lives and deepens our connection with nature." --Molly de Vries, owner of textile company, Ambatalia
"Duerr is knowledgeable and thorough, and fiber artists with an interest in incorporating natural dyeing into their work will find the information they need to get started, as well as insight into the dyeing process." --Library Journal
"She is at the forefront of the "slow fashion" movement." -- Publishers Weekly "Sasha Duerr teaches us to look to nature for inspiration, using botanicals to create subtle, painterly hues. Her ecologically sound approach is both ancient and modern and thoroughly in tune with the times--all photographed to beautifully capture the subtlety of her work." --Julie Carlson, Remodelista editor in chief "Sasha makes a seemingly complicated process appear less daunting. Her beautifully illustrated book is filled with easy-to-follow recipes and ingredients that we all have on hand, in our gardens, or compost piles!" --Bea Johnson,
An exploration and appreciation of the brilliant spectrum of colors derived from plants, with seasonal, project-based ideas for using these natural dyes to color your clothing and home.
WHAT SLOW FOOD CAN SHARE WITH FAST FASHION Toxic color comes at an enormous environmental and human cost. Many do not realize that although we do not eat our clothing and textiles, the same materials that go into making our garments and disposing of them become us. Residue from synthetic chemicals used to make dyes can be found in our air, water, and soil. Many of these synthetic chemicals don't break down well, and the World Bank estimates that 17 to 20 percent of the world's industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. There are seventy-two toxic chemicals in our water that originate purely from the dyeing process; of these, thirty cannot be removed. As a January 11, 2013, New York Times piece by Dan Fagin details, our current methods of devouring fast fashion and synthetic dyes have us in "A Cancer Cycle, From Here to China.". Manufactured fashion "seasons" move quickly and relentlessly. The term "fast fashion" suggests that an article of clothing may continue to be functional but is no longer perceived to be stylish or appropriate. Unfortunately, everyone, as well as the environment, pays for the bargain bin. As with fast food, there's little emphasis on the fallout of production or the negative social and environmental effects of rapid consumption. When you are working with the plant-based color, in contrast, you're constantly aware that you are working on nature's schedule, not just your own. With plant dyeing, you can be directly involved with the plant and its life cycle and even the care and quality of the materials used to get a successful result. Natural color can be sourced from renewable resources--like waste and weeds found in by-products of agriculture and even in urban centers. Many plants discarded from agricultural crops are also dye sources; these include cover crops, like fava bean leaves and stalks, California poppy roots, and gleaned by-products, like artichoke leaves and avocado pits, which make rich natural colors. And many everyday waste products from our urban, suburban, and rural kitchens, restaurants, and grocery stores--such as onion skins, carrot tops, and pomegranate rinds--can also be upcycled from waste bins to make beautiful natural colors and still be composted. BIODIVERSITY OF COLOR Plant dyes have a rich history in every culture on the planet. The quest to revive the practice of natural plant dyeing relies heavily on rediscovery and sharing information, as a vast amount of practical knowledge has been lost. Dyeing with plants means more than simply replacing synthetic materials with natural ones--it means changing the way we care for and interact with our natural environment. Natural color is an immersive and fully sensory experience. Experimenting with fallen redwood cones is awe inspiring, from the color that emerges--deep mauve, purples, and blacks--to the smell of the dye bath, like a walk in a rainy coastal redwood forest. Making your own natural dyes awakens the potential for designing as nature does, with purpose and beauty. The value of "living" color is to appreciate and treasure the inherent uniqueness of nature and, as with an heirloom fruit or vegetable, to ensure biodiversity for future generations.
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