The Three-Day Dye Fest

Jasmine went to our plant-based dye factory for a dye fest where she worked with mr. xiong, our natural dye alchemist.

Jasmine went to our plant-based dye factory for a 3-day dye fest where she worked with mr. xiong, our beloved natural dye alchemist + comrade to test out color designs for our holistic yoga collection. this is what it looked like at the beginning of the color testing process. by the third time around, we tried to plan ahead as much as possible. yet it was still daunting to sort out all the pieces by style/size/fabric to plan the dye testing process after they came out of the “cooking pot,” where the starch used in clothmaking is dissolved.

it took jasmine and buer about 2 hours just to wrap their exhausted heads around the process enough to finally organize a plan of action. we are so very blessed that our beloved comrade factory stayed open on a weekend just for us. we feel bad that we are such trouble but we are grateful to have their full attention and support in testing out our demanding visions. these dye trips are always intense because we are always trying to explore and innovate techniques that are not commonly used. we want to achieve what we believe to be the most aesthetically pleasing color palettes with the natural plants we have access to.

our plan of action was to first test out our single color designs with black pieces as our focus, being the hardest color to achieve naturally, and depending on the fabric makeup, will vary in shade. we got started with the 12 pieces in the collection that will be dyed black using jambolan (syzygium cumini) to produce colors ranging from the faintest gray to the darkest black. in order to achieve the black, garments will need to be dyed up to 10 times in the same “solution,” requiring the most amount of time to achieve. after 2 previous dye experiments, we have now acquired enough knowledge and understanding of the process to become somewhat strategic. :-)

jambolan (syzygium cumini) is an extraordinary plant native to Asia, its fruit and seeds having long been used in eastern traditional medicine, particularly to help treat diabetes. jambolan also holds anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, so we are thrilled to incorporate these healing elements into our pieces to enhance the wearer’s yoga practice.

it is true that because we are not using a standard, industrial process with chemical products, that the plant-based dye process can be a bit experimental, depending on various factors which can all play a part in the whole alchemy, but that is exactly how we like it. it is so much more rewarding to see how the plant color reacts to our fabric even at the slightest construction change. all kinds of other factors can come into play even as slight as the acidity change in the water supply. such an intricate, moody process is both challenging and exhilarating. it’s a bit like surfing, instead of planning such a rigid color design, we just go with the flow and allow nature to become our inspiration guide in producing something beautiful — despite, and because of, the factors we are dealt with.

this rhythm we aim to find with nature is part of our holistic vision because to be truly organic, we must learn to dance with nature instead of fighting or attempting to control it.

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