Exploring the nature of textiles, we were bound to come across the art of natural dyeing This craft is a slow process that asks the artist to connect with nature’s ground and roots. The colours produced by natural dyes carry not only stories of the earth, but cultural and geographical significance.
In Mexico, more and more textile artisans are reverting back to natural dyes, both as an attempt to revive ancient traditions and out of concerns about the environmental and health risks of synthetic dyes.
SO WHY NATURAL DYES?
The beauty of natural dyes is their ability to produce a spectrum of vivid colors that could never be replicated by any man made chemical dyes.
They are also the safest option for your skin and environment. This is because they rely on processing natural ingredients that are free from harmful chemicals in contrast to their synthetic counterparts.
OUR NATURAL DYE PIECES
We’re so excited to introduce our first naturally dyed in pieces in 100% linen.
Featuring a 70's inspired pointy collared flare top and flare trousers, with our signature flowers appliqué and pockets.
THE TERRACOTTA ROSE LINEN TOP & TROUSERS
THE APPLE GREEN LINEN TOP & TROUSERS
We were so lucky to discover Luna, the most wonderful textile artisan based in Mexico City.
Amongst her many talents, Luna specialises in natural dyeing, using plants and flowers native to Mexico.
The rich magenta colour is created with the palo de Brazil (Mexican Logwood). Palo de Brasil is an unexpected treasure of Mexico: a small, scrawny tree which a gorgeous red-orange dye can be extracted. More than 5kg is required to obtain such a deep colour and the fabric must be left to rest in the dye for a minimum of a week and a half.
The stunning terracotta colour is created from a combination of =
Palo de Brazil (purple) + Pericon (yellow) + Zacatlascalli (scarlet).
The lovely green apple colour is created using yerba mate leaves (green) mixed with a splash of indigo (blue).
GETTING TO KNOW LUNA...
We had the opportunity to take a little bit of time from Luna's busy day at her workshop and discuss her thoughts on this project.
How did you learn the art of natural dyeing?
I started in the world of natural dye when I decided to study my degree in Artisanal Textile Technique at INBA in Mexico City, my professor Pilotzin taught me how to extract the colours naturally, after I finished my degree I kept learning as I taught myself through reading, studying and my own experimentations. I have now been practicing natural dye for 5 years on my own.
What makes this slow art of natural dye so important to Mexico?
Natural dye in Mexico and other countries: I think we use the same method to extract the dye and bite, what does change is the native plants to each region, for example the Cempasuchil flower is very easy to get hold of in Mexico, this gives us our yellow. In Europe for example it would be very expensive, in Mexico this flower is free to get hold of the dried leaves. In general we are using plants and roots local to Mexico that may or may not be available around the world.
What do you love about growing up and living in Mexico?
I love the colours of Mexico. I love the food, the climate, the culture and history of this country.
We are so grateful to have found you and it has been such an incredible experience for us to collaborate with you in this project.
I have really enjoyed working with Tea & Tequila, always extremely punctual with providing the materials and payments and I’m very happy you’ve decided to start working with natural dye and have trusted me with this project.
Thank you Luna, to more collaborations to come. Love, the Tea & Tequila Team.
“Working with Mother Nature is very satisfying when you understand it is a living being, and you understand your limitations as a human being.” quoting Porfirio Gutierrez, a natural dyer from the Teotitlan región.
CARING FOR YOUR NATURALLY DYED PIECES
The nature of naturally dyed pieces are different than if they were synthetically dyed. Therefore, you must care for them differently as well!
Due to the delicacy of natural dye, we recommend NOT washing this piece until it is actually dirty in order to preserve the quality and colour of the fabric. Alternatively, try hanging your clothes out to breathe in the fresh air as an alternative to washing.
When washing, please WASH SEPARATELY with cold water and a soft neutral natural detergent.
It is normal for naturally dyed clothing to have a break-in period where you will experience dye transfer or crocking.
You may DRY CLEAN with no chemicals or bleach.
AIR DRY in the shade as sunlight can fade the colour of the dye. You may IRON on a low temperature or steam.
All clothing fades in colour over time, but natural dye fades in an organic and beautiful way. We like to think of this process as a beautiful reflection of time itself.