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Fibres

 

I have carefully researched and sourced sustainable cloth for dyeing, and use a small variety of natural fibres which lend themselves to different methods of dyeing and textile uses. The fibre samples on the left are all dyed in the same cochineal vat, and show how different each fibre responds to the same dye. I use cotton and linen where a more hard-wearing cloth is required, and opt for wool or silk on more decorative items as I can achieve brighter crisper designs with animal fibres.

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Linen

The spinning of flax fibres to create linen thread is the first recorded use of cloth by humankind, and it has been cherished throughout history due to the strong and versatile nature of the cloth. The flax plant requires very little irrigation or pesticides, and while the long stems are used to make linen fibres the seeds can be harvested to make linseed. I use organic European linen or end-of-line off-cuts of Scottish linen.

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Cotton

 

Conventionally produced cotton requires a huge amount of irrigation and pesticides, which is hugely damaging to the local environment. I use certified organic cotton which is a more sustainable alternative, and recycled cotton which is made from post production cotton waste.

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Silk

 

The traditional method of processing this ancient and highly prized fibre requires boiling the silk moth inside it’s cocoon before extracting the fibre. However, I use only ethically processed Ahimsa Silk where the silk moth is allowed to eat its way out of the cocoon and fly away, leaving the cocoon as a natural waste product of the moth’s life-cycle. I use only hand loomed silk which is harvested, processed, spun and woven using traditional methods by families working from their homes in rural India. 

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Wool

 

The fibre most traditional to Scotland is wool, and although wool fibres are naturally occurring and biodegradable, industrial farming methods and mistreatment of animals reduce the sustainability and ethics of this material. I use only GOTS certified organic merino wool which certifies that the highest social and ecological standards are observed during the rearing of the sheep and processing of the wool.