Natural Dye in the News

 "It's the visual equivalent of a peach ripened by the tree, or a tomato baked in sunshine. Some lost part of you recognises that this is how it's supposed to be. Natural dyes are no different."

A friend sent me a link to this great article about another natural dye artist and I loved it so much I wanted to share it here.

Porfirio Gutiérrez is a natural dye artist from Oaxaca Mexico who lives and works in Ventura, California. You can learn more about his work at his website (which strangely I had to hunt down since it isn't linked in the article for some reason)


One line in particular really resonates with me and my own work and business ethos:

"Gutiérrez doesn't want natural dye to regain its prominence in the globalised textile industry because that could lead to terrorising nature for the ingredients. He wants us to see that it's possible to make a living and make good on the quid pro quo deal with nature: that she provides for us, and in return that we take only what we need from her"


I recognized many similarities in our lives and professional paths, though we are from very different cultures and different parts of the world.

The one major place I veer away from Porfirio's techniques is in the use of cochineal dye. It's made from dried bugs and I just can't bear the smell of them processing - like a hundred teenage boys' socks cooking on the stove. No thanks! I do fondly remember the bright pink/red dye from my grandmother's kitchen cupboard though; she often used it to colour icing for cakes. I wonder if she ever knew its origin?

The full BBC article is here

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