Organic produce bound for the dinner table isn’t the only aim of those planting gardens lately. With the hand-dyed trend
inspiring fashion designers to seek out colors found in nature, as opposed to the Rit
section of the drugstore, the planting and cultivation of dye gardens is becoming a modish practice. Below are three dye garden projects delivering brilliant hues straight from the source.
Natural Dye CSA:
Community-supported agriculture programs provide locavores with access to a variety of goods ranging from honey
. Now, a new project from Sewing Seeds
, a Textile Arts Center
initiative conceived to promote the use of natural dyes, is raising funds
to transform an abandoned lot in Brooklyn into a vibrant dye garden
. Part of the 596 Acres
land resource program, the garden will have its inaugural run between June and November 2012. In addition to receiving the plants intended for natural dye extractions, members will receive instructions and workshops focused on how best to utilize them. Expect to see some pretty sophisticated tie-dye wares paraded through the borough this summer.
With processed cheese
being a main ingredient of its foremost culinary delicacy
, Philadelphia doesn’t exactly have a reputation as being a leader of the organic movement. What many people don’t know, however, is that the City of Brotherly Love is home to an impressive natural dye house, BlueRedYellow
. The company, founded upon a modern value system that elevates the importance of transparency, makes a point of sharing its products’ origins with customers. The roots of its dyes—blue (indigo), red (madder), yellow (marigold)—are something they can be especially proud of in that they are all grown and harvested in urban community gardens.
Westerners think of tie-dye as a fabric treatment that was born in the Woodstock era, but its Japanese cousin shibori
actually dates back to the 8th century. At the crux of the ancient dyeing technique is indigo. With shibori having a moment in fashion
lately, DIYers are experimenting with the midnight blue pigment. Artist Britt Browne, also the blogger behind Growing Indigo
, led an indigo dyeing workshop
for a group of Echo Park creatives this past November. In December, she followed it up with a more general natural dyeing class
that instructed students in transforming dye garden flora, including persimmons, hibiscus and blackberries, into color saturations for use with fabric.