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Naturally Dyed  

for Apolina Kids

Hand-Dyed with Plant Extracts

I recently had the pleasure of working with Apolina Kids on a range of plant dyed organic cotton pieces. I've been an admirer of Apolina's beautiful work for a while, especially the thoughtfulness behind the brand, which is reflected in all of Apolina's work. Caroline, works directly with a family run factory in India to bring her creations to life. Her process, like mine, is slow, considered & based on small batch production.

When Caroline approached me to work with her on her latest line of basics, I knew that it would be an enjoyable project. By the time I had finished all the dyeing, I felt really lucky to have worked on this project with such a lovely human (I hope this can be seen from the images I captured throughout the process). 

It feels like more of an accomplishment to have brought this wonderful collaboration to life during these uncertain pandemic times & a huge thanks to everyone who has waited patiently and supported the release of this range. 

 The Process

I started with the un-dyed fibre & removed any residue by a process known as "scouring". For me this is one of the most important parts in the process & spending the time ensures the  most consistent & rewarding results. 

After scouring, all the pieces have to be mordanted. 

Mordanting is the process of soaking the scoured fibres in a solution which helps bind the colour to the fibre. The mordant ensures that the colours are clear, bright & don't wash out. I like to use a natural plant based mordant so the process is non toxic for the environment and the little humans that will be wearing these pieces.

Once the pieces were cleaned and mordanted they were ready for the dye baths. Based on samples & small swatches of fabric that I previously dyed, Caroline decided on three colours for the range: a warm marigold/tan, a soft pink and a chocolaty brown. The dyes used came from tree bark and roots. I hand dyed the pieces in batches, layering the colours slowly & carefully. The process of dyeing took a few weeks from start to finish & I was lucky to be able to slow down enough to document the process as I went.

Once everything was dyed & Caroline was happy with the colours, I washed all the pieces with eco-friendly detergent before sending them off.  Emma Donnelly photographed some of the pieces on some gorgeous little human's for Apolina's latest collection, which you can see in the three images below.  

 It was lovely to see these pieces out in the wild & photographed above by Emma Donnelly

To Shop The Collection

Visit Apolina Kids to shop our collaboration or view their full range of  beautiful children's clothing   |  Instagram: apolina_kids    |    Process photography: Kathryn Davey   |    Video: Kathryn Davey