Welcome…join me in a journey of the discovery of stunning colours, shapes and patterns that collaborating with nature creates…
Using plants to colour fabric, fibre and other natural substrates is centuries old…embracing the techniques is really a rediscovery. Eco printing, though, is a term popularized by India Flint after her experimentations with printing the shape and dye colours in leaves and other plant parts directly onto cloth, primarily wool.
My journey of discovery in creating beautiful textiles in tandem with nature has merely begun…a lifetime is nowhere near long enough to find all the colours, shapes and patterns that dyeing and printing with plant materials can offer.
Eucy Redd offers unique naturally dyed upcycled products and hand made fibre items, as well as opportunities for you to participate in workshops to learn skills in eco print, plant dyes and other artisanal crafts and fibre art.
All are based in a philosophy of ethical enjoyable clothing and fabric, and reconnecting the wearer to nature.
All the fibres that I use are sourced ethically, from;
- Upcycled or repurposed pre loved fabrics;
- Organic, animal cruelty free and fair trade sources;
- Fibre shorn from my own and friends’ very loved and cared for pet sheep, alpacas and goats raised in a permaculture system that is free of artificial fertilizers, pesticides or other artificial chemicals.
- Much like the slow food movement, the slow fibre offers opportunities for reconnection with life, nature and sense of belonging.
It suggests some answers to the questions raised by the mass production of fibres and dyes in systems that require the stripping and poisoning of the planet and its people. With the growing recognition that the mass textiles industries are just as reliant on poisons, just as wasteful of resources, and just as exploitative of workers as the mass food industry, the slow fibre movement has arisen in response.
Slow fibre is simply reconnection with our heritage. All cultures prior to the industrial revolution had long traditions of careful handwork, loving and practical reuse, patching and redecorating that used initially well made items over decades, even centuries, rather than months or at best a few scant years. The expectation of long use impacted on both production and care of textiles.
Like the Japanese Boro tradition of creating multi patched family heirlooms from reused scraps of handmade plant dyed fibres (many woven from hemp and dyed in Indigo), all cultures have a history of fabric making and reuse that involved members of the family who added patches, stitching and mending to eventually create fabrics which then held the stories of the family within its folds.
My passion is to fossick in nature, to create, and to be a small part of the process of stepping forward by looking back, by ethically sourcing quality fibres and fabrics, and by upcycling and repurposing fabrics already in use. I feel that the humble opshop can be part of the solution. In the context of a fast fleeting fashion society where nothing is as it was, opshops at least allow fabrics to continue to cycle, to find new leases of life with new owners who can see their potential. Reusing pre loved items begins to break the addictive cycle of forever seeking the new, over appreciating the potential of what already is.
I just find things, and let nature play with them.
Or I create things from my animal friends’ fibres, each piece carrying the signature of the creature that created it. My animals are raised in an evolving permaculture system, a collaborative effort with nature to provide what we humans need while endeavoring to give back to the earth more than we take.
Some fibres accept natural dyes better than others do, and some hold onto the dye molecules better than others. Resistant fibres need a mordant; a kind of bridge between fibre and dye. I use the mordants that I feel have the best health and environmental safety; organic soy milk, home made copper and iron liquid from metal scraps found on my farm in SW Victoria, Australia.
Other fabrics are carefully sourced from ethical, organic sources that support small local producers and are free of cruelty and exploitation of animals and people.
In a process that takes weeks or months rather than minutes, each piece of clothing and fabric becomes transformed by leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, and minerals collected and applied by hand and by rainwater with joy and inspiration.
Each piece of clothing or fabric treated this way is unique.
The energy of the joyful process ripples through the fabric, transferred to you if you sit quietly and feel for it.