If you’ve taken a gander at my shop, you've probably noticed there’s a lot of hand dyed color – several of my knit collections are made with hand dyed yarn, and I dye all the silk scarves myself.
But there are tricks to dyeing by hand – for one thing, the finished products are never the same twice.
Working outside a factory environment means that things like water content, dye measurements, and the arrangement of the fiber or fabric tend to vary a little more.
When each piece is different, you have to choose between photographing each individual piece, photographing a representative piece or an array, or selling only in person. (For Ten Thousand Dandelions, I go with the happy medium, and photograph an array, revising the photos as necessary and always noting that you can contact me with questions about a color.)
So why bother?
If it’s more fuss, more mess, more work – why not call it a day and leave fashion to the folks who can handle warehouse-size quantities and dye vats large enough to bathe in?
Well, for starters, it’s because the finished products are never the same twice.
There’s a depth to hand dyed colors that you just don’t get in a mechanical process, and it's exciting to create utterly unique patterns of color each time I work.
Each silk scarf I dye and each hand dyed skein I chose takes up the color a little differently. Sometimes the results are subtle. Other times they're pretty dramatic. It makes things a bit of an adventure.
So much about fashion, street-level fashion, is about trends, and trends are about having the same thing as someone else.
That can work, don’t get me wrong – two people buying the same bag shouldn’t be a problem. They’re going to wear it with different shoes, a different jacket, a different hairstyle, and at the end of the day does it really mean anything besides the fact that they agree it's a great bag?
But there’s something special about having something that no one else has.
And there’s something special about having something that has been created because it can never be the same as what has come before.
That particular joy is the foundation of Ten Thousand Dandelions, and it’s something I am delighted to share with you.
See you later!