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Dear Dyeary: The Genesis of Dyeraid

Shibori Dyed Indigo Scraps

It all started with free time, nature and a little bit of curiosity. Give a girl these three things and who knows what will come of it. In my case the result was Dyeraid. Dyeing with natural Indigo was the genesis of Dyeraid. Let me take you back in time a bit.

I went to school for Fashion Merchandising and Entrepreneurship. Two things have always pressed my passion button and that is Ethical & Sustainable Fashion and Product or Business Development. During my time at Kent State, I focused my efforts towards learning the in's and out's of the Fashion Industry and Sustainable & Ethical product development processes. My freshman year, I was on a walk with a new friend who was there as a Designer. She asked me, "what do you want to learn while you are at Kent?" I thought, is that something I get to decide really? Seeing I was confused she continued, "Like you could learn weaving, dyeing, laser printing, leather work, anything really, there is so much available." I thought some more, dyeing sounded so cool!

A few semesters later, everyone is required to take a textiles class. In this class I centered my focus on taking note of natural fabrics vs. synthetic fabrics and then eventually we discussed synthetic vs. natural dyes in denim. Of coarse the focus of this topic was Indigo.

That summer I found myself with a lot of free time and stirred inspiration to do something valuable with it. If you don't already know, I am from the mountains of Virginia. One morning my friend and I went on a hike and as we were roaming through a large field at the top she reached down and grabbed part of this small, dark plant. She took it in her hand and started crushing it with her nails. As her palm started to slowly turn this rich, dark blue, my eyes were astonished. "What is that?" I asked. She said, its indigo.

Light Bulb.This beautiful stuff grows in my backyard? And it makes that color? Needless to say, my wheels started turning.

After researching, Indigo was looking more and more intriguing. The idea of Shibori resist dye was enough to challenge me, but allow me to comfortably pursue my creative side.

We have arrived. Present Day. My husband and I (did I mention I got married, minor detail) moved to Wichita Falls Texas for him to start Pilot Training for the Air Force. I found myself with the same yearnings as summers before. Fresh out of school with the world as my oyster I decided to investigate other agents and methods of natural dyeing and found there are so many amazing ways to create color in a more sustainable way for the consumer. Now I get to mix Indigo with other agents to create endless opportunities of color. I get to teach others the art of Indigo Shibori dyeing and I get to educate you guys on sustainable and environmentally friendly efforts that are available in the products you love and want to fill your lives with.

Thats me dyeing with naturally and sustainably sourced Indigo!

What was just free time, nature and a bit of curiosity became a life of Hand Dyed Happiness. Thank you for joining me on it!


Kara Jo

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