Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe

Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe

by Sasha Duerr

Hardcover

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Overview

A beautiful book of seasonal projects for using the brilliant spectrum of colors derived from plants to naturally dye your clothing and home textiles.

Organized by season, Natural Color is a beautifully photographed guide to the full range of plant dyes available, drawn from commonly found fruits, flowers, trees, and herbs, with accompanying projects. Using sustainable methods and artisinal techniques, designer, artist, and professor Sasha Duerr details achievable ways to apply these limitless color possibilities to your home and wardrobe. Whether you are new to dyeing or more practiced, Duerr's clear and simple ingredients lists, step-by-step instructions, and detailed breakouts on techniques such as shibori, dip-dye, and block printing will ensure beautiful results. With recipes to dye everything from dresses and sweaters to rugs and napkins, Natural Color will inspire fashion enthusiasts, home decorators, textile lovers, and everyone else who wants to bring more color into their life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607749363
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 08/23/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 392,487
Product dimensions: 7.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

SASHA DUERR is an artist, designer, and advocate for the slow fashion movement who works with organic dyes, alternative fibers, and the creative reuse of materials. She is a professor at the California College of the Arts with a joint appointment in textiles and fine arts. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums across the United States and abroad. In 2007 Duerr founded the Permacouture Institute with the Trust for Conservation Innovation to encourage the exploration of fashion and textiles from the ground up. Her extensive work with plant-based dyes and ecological principles through local land-based sources and community has been featured in the New York Times, American Craft Magazine, Selvedge, and the Huffington Post. She is the author of The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes.

Read an Excerpt

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.

Table of Contents

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 

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Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NatoshaM More than 1 year ago
There always is a better way to dye clothing, not with toxic chemicals, but natural dyes from plants, fruits, and many others! The book, Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe by Sasha Duerr really explains how to create your own dyes from natural. It uses different colors you'd find naturally in fruits and teas, plus other plants that are known for their very lovely hues. The book first will explain everything about Natural dyes and what the book is all about. Next, you'll learn how to start, what you need, and the instructions to get you creating some beautiful colors! I love that it's easy to understand and to actually do! Not only can you enjoy homemade colored fabrics like napkins, rugs, shirts, and pants, but you can also be a beginner and still end up successfully achieving your own colored cloth. The colors are so vibrant and can be changed by how long you leave the cloth into the color, also by the fabric used. Many fabrics dye better and accept the color more, while others might not become as bright. However, this book covers all that information and details to achieve these wonderful colors. Finally, for the first time learning about this type of art, I am so interested in creating my own clothing of color! It's an excellent guide and something anyone could try and succeed at! Excellent book!