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NATURAL DYES

 The range of Hemp On Toast clothes are all dyed using a carefully chosen selection of natural dyes, picked for their uniqueness and durability.

Natural dyes are alive and like an impressionist painting, they have a wealth of different tones within one overall colour impression.

Dyes will vary depending on soil and weather conditions, and as they age, they develop new subtle shades and depths.

 

There is great joy in having a garment that ages and changes with its use, accompanying us in our life's gradual changes.

Read up below about the three plants I use to create the core colour range for Hemp On Toast garments. There are also more seasonal plants that I use to create special edition colours - look out for these in the shop's pages!

Walnut Husks

Find me on a cold Autumn day on The Avenues in Norwich gathering black walnuts for the dye pot. These type of walnut aren't edible but the green pithy husk that surrounds them is a potent dye source, just like with edible walnut husks.

There are many of these trees on this street and every year I collect a load that I store and use on demand. 

Pomegranate Skins

One of my favourite dye plants, the skins produce a lovely sunny yellow on their own, and when combined with rust and turmeric, turns a deep grey and a khaki green. I also like the process of dyeing with pomegranate skins as it involves a network of collectors, people around Norwich who eat lots of pomegranates and save their skins for me. 

Onion Skins

Onion skins are often a dyer's first choice. They produce consistently bright, deep colours that last well.

I like to combine onion skins with rust to make a medium shade of green, or with alum to brighten it and make a yellow.

I source onion skins through a network of dedicated onion skins collectors in Norwich and beyond! I also go to Norwich market every week to pick up a big bag of them from Anna who runs the Cocina Mia market stall where they make delicious Chilean food!

SOFIA'S VEST TOP dyed with onion skins and rust

Analogue photography by Joseph Hayes @theillusionofdepth and Callum Painter @callumpainter