Botanical Threads was founded in 2016 out of a desire to create chemical free dyes that reflect the beauty of the plants that they are created from. Unique, one off items are designed, hand dyed and created with love by me, Alicia, in my home in the heart of the English Countryside where I am inspired by the rolling hills and beautiful scenery. Passionate about introducing others to the magic of plant dyeing, I have written several ebooks and have a book due to be published in January to help you with your plant dyeing journey.
All of the colours used at Botanical Threads are extracted directly from plants, using hot water. Natural plant dyes often need a little extra help sticking to fabrics, so soya milk is used as an alternative to harmful chemicals for helping the colours to stick. The fabrics are soaked in a soya milk bath and once dried, the fabric is left to rest for a minimum of 7 days to fully allow the soyabean protein to bond to the fabric in preparation for dyeing with plant dyes.
Kitchen scraps such as avocado stones, pomegranate peels and onion skins get a last lease of life before being composted and plants such as rosemary, nettles and lavender are harvested thoughtfully to protect the environment, whereas purchased plants are organic wherever possible. Tea bags and herbal teas are used to created vibrant colours and fresh flowers are used to make wonderful, natural prints. Plant dyeing is a wonderfully slow process. The plant dyes are created by soaking a raw plant material in water for several days. Once all of the colour has been extracted, the fabric is heated in the dye and (depending on the plants used) can be left in the pot from anything between 5 minutes and several days.
After the desired shade has been achieved, the fabric is dried and left for a further 7 days before washing in a natural laundry detergent to remove any excess dye. It is at this point that any designs will be hand printed onto the fabric. After it has dried the design is then steamed and washed. Now the fabric is ready to be turned into something beautiful.