Dyed in the Wool
introducing our limited collection
NELSON BROWN 〡 Sept 15th, 2023
On our journey to create a better tomorrow rather than settling for the status quo today, we collaborated with Green Matters Natural Dye Company and "Dyed in the Wool" was born.
Green Matters' mission is to bring pollution-free color to the textile industry by using all-natural dye ingredients. They champion an alternative to harmful dyes that resonates with our shared vision of sustainable fashion. Their team has amassed extensive expertise in natural dyes, and I had the opportunity to closely observe, learn from, and document their meticulous hand-dyeing process for our latest collection. Follow along to learn more about the process of utilizing Indigo and Cutch natural dyes.
THE TIMELESS SOURCE OF COLORFAST BLUES
The legendary dye extracted from Indigofera tinctoria, has been cultivated specifically for its magical blues. Flourishing in hot, sunny, and humid climates worldwide, indigo can produce a captivating spectrum of blue shades. From the gentle tint of a pale sky to a deep navy almost black, each hue holds its unique charm. The indigo powder used by Green Matters comes from a farm in south India. boasting a remarkable 40% indigotin content, which allows it to reduce beautifully in the vat, enhancing the depth and allure of our garments.
Indigo in powder form
A happy Indigo Vat
KEEPING INDIGO HAPPY, A BALANCING ACT
Both iron and pickling lime are essential elements added throughout the dye process. Iron acts as the reducing agent, helping indigo dissolve fully in the vat. I vividly remember stirring the vat until the surface turned neon-green, indicating the indigo's successful dissolution. Pickling lime creates the basic environment needed for this reaction to happen. The process is an artful dance, where the vat's pH level determines its hunger, rapidly "eating" the pickling lime when added to the surface.
Raw ingredients to start the indigo process. (left: Iron, right: pickling lime)
Adding Iron (Reducing Agent)
Using marbles to help hydrate the Indigo
Adding pickling lime that is the high pH component
"Light Gold" Tranquil Hoodies transformed through the indigo dye into hues of teal and green.
EMBRACING EARTHY ELEGANCE
Derived from the Acacia catechu tree, cutch extract brings forth a symphony of enchanting earthy browns. The process involves steeping wood in hot water, resulting in a syrupy liquid that transforms into powder through meticulous drying and grinding. Indian cutch stands as a true marvel, offering a palette of colorfast shades encompassing cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Rich in tannin and the dye compound catechu, this extract elegantly dissolves in water, endowing our garments with remarkable lightfastness and washfastness properties.
Cutch is raw form.
Adding water and mixing dye.
Cutch dye ready to use.
"Salmon" Tranquil Hoodies and Joggers transformed through the cutch into earthy brown and pink.
Green Matters' dedication to sustainability extends beyond their dyeing expertise. Their cistern, that has a capacity of 60,000 gallons, plays a crucial role in water conservation. Utilizing only collected rainwater allows them to naturally remove impurities, preserving the garments' color outcome. This eco-conscious approach ensures their dyeing process remains efficient and environmentally responsible. Beyond their sustainable practices, Green Matters is proud to be a woman-owned business run by a team of women and nonbinary individuals.
The 'Dyed in the Wool' collection encapsulates more than just garments.
It weaves a tale of creativity, responsibility, and sustainability. Each piece embodies the essence of nature's beauty, ensuring that no two are identical, much like the remarkable uniqueness of our planet. If we can create innovative products with timeless aesthetics, we can inspire people to keep these items for longer periods, ultimately reducing their overall consumption.
More photos from the day