Madder dye on woolHan pasado ya varios años desde que participé en mi primer taller de tintes naturales. Se abría un nuevo mundo para mi e instantáneamente me vi atraída por la magia del color natural. Me compré un par de libros sobre el tema, unas grandes ollas en tiendas de segunda mano y empecé a hacer mis primeros experimentos tinctóreos.
A few years have gone by since I took my first workshop in natural dyes. A whole world was opening in front of me and I was instantly drawn by the magic of natural color. I bought a couple of amazing books, some big pots at a thrift store and started to make my first dye experiments.
The handbook of natural plant dyes by Sasha Duerr / Oxialis dye on Wool top
Working with flowers, leaves, fruits or barks is not only an immensely sensory experience, but also a wonderful way to appreciate and respect nature. It helps us opening ones eyes and discovering the potential dye color we have around us, in our homes, gardens, streets or nearby forests. We learn to walk slowly and to be attentive, enjoying every step of the journey, every season and every place. We even realize what treasures are hidden in the waste food we were throwing away in our kitchens.
Organic Kitchen waste = potential color
When extracting the color in the dye pot it seems like magic how pigment particles or molecules release themselves from one organic matter and attach themselves to a new body embracing a new life. While dyeing you learn about chemistry, observing and experimenting with the Ph of the water, the acids, alkalis, tannins or the iron baths and suddenly you realize how many options and variations unfold in front of you, depending on which combination of elements you choose, one can create a whole color palette with just one dye. In other words, you will discover perhaps the "Marie Curie" inside you.
Madder dye samples with modifiers / Natural color wheel by Sasha Duerr
Learning to observe the seasons of the year is another beautiful aspect of natural color. Now I find myself waiting with excitement each month, for the flowers that will be in bloom or the fruits that will be ripe. Nevertheless, there is one aspect though that we all should have in mind when it comes to gathering. When foraging, it is vital that we respect nature and take just what we really need, respecting always the natural balance or ecosystems. Of course there are some plants or weeds that grow abundantly, but we should always make sure which plants are protected, which are rare species and treat them with care and respect.
Dye samples with Rubia Peregrina / Rosa Caterina Bosch + Joan Rita Workshop at University of Mallorca
Uno de los aspectos más fascinantes del los tintes naturales es para mi la riqueza del color y como se complementan unos colores con otros. Los tintes de plantas tienen muchos compuestos y en cada pigmento hay muchas moléculas de color. Las proporciones de éstos varían en cada planta según el tipo de tierra o el clima en que creció, siendo así ninguna igual, siempre única. Los tintes sintéticos, en cambio, son más planos e uniformes, y no contienen los matices y la vida de los tintes naturales. Además, aunque los sintéticos tengan una mayor resistencia a la luz y otras cualidades, pienso que es muy bonito, como los colores naturales maduran con la exposición a la luz y su uso, adquiriendo una pátina única y especial, que no tiene comparación con la artificial.
One of the most fascinating things to me, when it comes to natural color is the richness of color and how all the colors complement with each other. Dyes of plants have diverse compounds and there are many color molecules in each pigment. Their proportions vary in each plant depending on the soil type and the weather, making it never the same, always unique. In comparison with synthetic dyes, which are more flat and uniform, natural color seems to be alive. It is true that synthetic colors have better light fastness and other qualities, but it is very beautiful, in my opinion, how natural ones mature with the light and the use, getting a unique and special patina, that can never be beaten by any artificial one.
South West Persian Tribal Rug - Vegetable dyes
Si tenéis curiosidad por aprender más sobre el color natural os invito a venir a la charla que el día 17. Feb daré sobre mi proceso creativo en torno a este maravilloso mundo. Os espero en OS79 a las 12:00h para un encuentro especial en torno al color natural. (+info en agenda / workshop / )
I hope that this post has awakened your curiosity towards natural dyes. It will be a pleasure to share with you in future posts more information about my work, about other dyers, books and photos regarding this amazing subject, that keeps my hands and heart full of color.
If you are curious to learn a little more about natural color, I invite you to the talk about natural color in my creative process that I will give on Feb 17th at 12.00 pm at OS79. (+info en agenda / workshop / )