RITUALS IS HERE!

We care what we put in our body, why not care what we put on it?

And just like waiting all winter for the first day of spring, our new line of upcycled T-shirts has officially launched!  It has been so incredible through this entire process and we have embarked on a new journey we never even knew existed.  I personally didn't even know about the world of natural dyes up until about a year ago, and I have been working in fashion for 10 years.  

 Upcycled vintage tee stripped of all of its chemicals and naturally dyed with indigo.

Upcycled vintage tee stripped of all of its chemicals and naturally dyed with indigo.

It's an incredible feeling when you start a project for no one else but yourself and when you put no financial pressure on the project is when a true idea shines through.  Since our line of mass produced clothing, Bohemian Bones, we have really taken a look at the fashion industry as a whole and have been planning for the past 3 years how to help the earth instead of continually hurting it.

 Hand embroidered upcycled vintage tee overdyed with indigo from the Rituals collection.

Hand embroidered upcycled vintage tee overdyed with indigo from the Rituals collection.

Then last year while I was shopping around for my business partner's birthday gift, I happened upon a little art studio in Silver Lake that was offering art classes.  Immediately excited about purchasing us an art class for her birthday, I perused the calendar of classes and had a surge of light race through me when I happened upon the natural fabric dyeing course they were offering.  Natural. Fabric. Dyeing. 

 Patterson Wells shot on 35mm film for Bare Bones in Griffith Park.

Patterson Wells shot on 35mm film for Bare Bones in Griffith Park.

We had been using RIT and other synthetic dyes ourselves for years in all of our collections, and had never even considered natural plants as dyeing alternatives.  Why have we not been taught about these before?!  Why were synthetic dyes ever even created?!  What has happened to the fashion industry in the past 100 years?  The fashion industry is the 2nd largest polluting industry only behind oil and gas.

 Upcycled T-shirt dyed with all natural cochineal bugs for the Rituals collection by Bare Bones.

Upcycled T-shirt dyed with all natural cochineal bugs for the Rituals collection by Bare Bones.

After extensive research of what is missing in the eco fashion market and what is polluting our planet the most, we have decided to not even make new garments as of now because there are SO many garments already made on this planet that people have thrown away or are trying to get rid of, so it is our goal to save all of those thrown away T-shirts in order for them to never even make it to a landfill. 

 This shirt was stripped of it's chemicals and naturally dyed with madder root.

This shirt was stripped of it's chemicals and naturally dyed with madder root.

We are sourcing old, beat up, vintage T-shirts and stripping them of their chemical dyes and waxes then overdyeing them with all natural plants.  We are keeping the shirt alive and giving it a story for you to tell.  We need to bring awareness to the life of a garment and pay attention to what goods we are purchasing.  Are you helping the future?  Are you wearing something that will benefit your skin instead of hurting it?  This is just the tip of the iceberg for us, and we are doing this strictly as a project of love and we will never deter from these beliefs.

Thank you for caring and thank you for listening.  Please write me an email if you have further dialogue on this topic and help us spread the word! 

You can find the full campaign under the 'Rituals' tab on our website.

Our T-shirts have a story, and you have the voice.

MEDICINAL DYEING AT MAKERS MESS

Since we fell in love with our bundle dyeing class at Makers Mess at the end of the year, we decided to immediately sign up for The Dogwood Dyer's medicinal dyeing class!  This class was so informative and since we had already taken one class and have been practicing a lot with natural dyes the language started to make a lot more sense this time.  

 The above bundle is all different natural fibers dyed with hibiscus, eucalyptus, and turmeric.

The above bundle is all different natural fibers dyed with hibiscus, eucalyptus, and turmeric.

As always, we started with all natural fabric strips of cotton and silk that had been pre-scoured by Liz (The Dogwood Dyer) prior to class since the scouring process takes 1-2 days of soaking.  

Since this class was focused on medicinal dyeing properties, we created the below 3 dye baths:

1.  Hibiscus - can be used for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as for your immune and digestive system.  It is also known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as it can slow down the growth of tumors. 

2.  Eucalyptus - people have been using eucalyptus for many different medicinal properties over the years.  Some of the most popular usages are as a pain reliever, insect repellant, and it can also boost your immune system.

3.  Turmeric - this is used as an anti-inflammatory in medicine and these properties can transfer from the fabric through your skin into your body.

 This is a page from The Dogwood Dyer's Swatch Book

This is a page from The Dogwood Dyer's Swatch Book

Each dye bath was prepared separately on a burner with dried plants of the above listed items.  We were then given small wooden circles, triangles, and squares to create designs and patterns with folding the fabrics around each item.  This is a Shibori dyeing technique and it always yields beautiful results.

 Results from the medicinal block dyeing.  Hibiscus, eucalyptus, and turmeric.

Results from the medicinal block dyeing.  Hibiscus, eucalyptus, and turmeric.

Opening up our knowledge to natural dyes and their medicinal properties feels like there is hope left in the fashion industry.  We all need to raise awareness about the harmful chemicals that are created with synthetic dyes and fibers.  Our new line of upcycled tees create zero chemicals and zero waste.  Our shirts have a story and you have the voice!

DYEING WITH THE DOGWOOD DYER

On the beginning of our search for the best natural dyes, I came across a lovely little art studio in Silver Lake that was offering a natural dyeing course concentrated on bundle dyeing.  Since I hadn't even thought of taking a class until this point, the epiphany I had was like a million teeny little light bulbs going off in my head at the same time - GENIUS!  I knew we would learn so much.  And that we did....

 Bird's Eye View - jars full of dried plants for dyeing, and a natural dyeing book by India Flint

Bird's Eye View - jars full of dried plants for dyeing, and a natural dyeing book by India Flint

Our instructor for the class was someone who is SO educated in this field, it seemed like we were learning from a scientist.  Her name is Liz, and her company is called The Dogwood Dyer.  She gave us a handout with all the information we need in regard to each step of the dyeing process, which materials and fabric are best, what type of mordant is the best, everything. http://www.thedogwooddyer.com/

 Jars filled with different dried plants.  Hibiscus, marigolds, onion skins....

Jars filled with different dried plants.  Hibiscus, marigolds, onion skins....

After a very awesome and informative lecture, we all gathered our dyeing supplies and plant materials to start making our bundles.  You can select any dried or fresh plant that will leave a color behind - there are so many options!

 My plate of selected dried plants, flowers, and vegetables

My plate of selected dried plants, flowers, and vegetables

Once you have your items selected, you wet your piece of fabric and start laying the plants onto the fabric.  The craftsmanship is entirely up to the artist, use as many or as little pieces of flowers and onions as you'd like.  

 Piece of silk fabric with small bits of dried flowers sprinkled evenly about

Piece of silk fabric with small bits of dried flowers sprinkled evenly about

Once you have your design laid out, you roll the fabric very tightly, then secure it with cotton yarn.  Add the roll of fabric to a steam bath over the stove and let it steam over boiling water for a given amount of time.  The longer you leave it in the steam bath, the darker the color will come out.

 A pattern of marigolds on a piece of cotton fabric

A pattern of marigolds on a piece of cotton fabric

This was a great and informative class to take and we are hoping to take more classes with Liz!!  The studio that held this class is called Maker's Mess, and they have a really fun schedule of craft classes for an affordable price!  If you're in the LA area, please take one of their classes, you will not be mistaken.  http://www.makersmess.com/