Using Your Hands To Make & Heal The Brain

For Mental Health Awareness Month, a few stories on how using your hands to make can help heal the brain. Women have innately basked their brains in feel good juices since time immemorial to get through tight economic and emotional times. Though dovetailed as woman’s work and not really discussed, for centuries women have enjoyed the calming properties of natural dyeing, knitting, sewing, embroidering or even just rhythmically folding or ironing clothes. In 2011, working as editor of an online magazine, I came across a blog post from sustainable designer and writer Natalie Chanin. It not only piqued my perception … Read more

Video From LIVE FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Alabama Chanin

This week’s FEEDBACK FRIDAY was with Alabama Chanin founder and creative director, the amazing Natalie Chanin. We talked about Natalie’s design journey, a sense of place and Alabama Chanin’s seed to shelf/cottage industry business model, the design process and working with natural dyes, as well as thoughts on the future of making. Watch the video: With a background in environmental and industrial design, Natalie has worked for 20 years building sustainable practices and community values into the design and making process through her business. You can follow along with the storytelling behind all of this on the Alabama Chanin Journal … Read more

Video From LIVE FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Keith Recker

This week’s FEEDBACK FRIDAY had us all captivated by the storytelling of color (and how we perceive it), with Keith Recker. In addition to sharing some of the natural dye and pigment stories included in his book True Colors: World Masters of Natural Dyes, Keith talked about how the human eye perceives color, and how color terms enter human languages around the world. Watch the video recording below: Keith Recker is President and co-founder of HAND/EYE magazine, a multidisciplinary journal of global handmade creativity. He is also a board member and Creative Director of the International Folk Art Market in … Read more

FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors: I just started natural dyeing and am wondering if you could suggest any books that might best guide me as a beginner? Check out this list! I just tried to dye some upcycled white t-shirts for an Alabama Chanin project and had a major failure. I used tannin extract and iron powder. I was going for charcoal … Read more

Botanical Colors Gets More Indigo Love

I recently interviewed Natalie Chanin on how hard it is to run a business and was happy she name dropped Botanical Colors! See a portion of the interview below and to read the article in its entirety, go to the Brooklyn Fashion+Design Accelerator. How long have you used natural dyes and is your Indigo Collection your first collection showcasing them? In 2008, we began collaborating with an organization called Goods of Conscience, a non-profit that was based in The Bronx at that time. This was our first foray into the world of natural dyes. We expanded our natural dye selection … Read more

Introducing…Botanical Colors Indigo and Alabama Chanin!

We’ve been waiting to tell you all about our collaborative project with Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin and so welcome you to the world of blue! Ecouterre writes: “Alabama Chanin is back in blue. After a nearly two-year hiatus, the Florence, Ala.-based apparel label is reintroducing its popular indigo collection, including pieces dyed for the first time on location at the sprawling design and production space it calls “The Factory.” Manufactured locally from 100 percent organic cotton, the revamped range incorporates a mix of basic accessories, classic styles, and hand-embellished one-of-a-kind designs, along with overdyed offerings from A. Chanin, its … Read more