Tuesday, 14 July 2009

WOAD..Good to be Blue!

This past weekend saw an exciting opportunity for Hiromi and I to see indigo dying done in the traditional English way. Woad is a plant native to the UK that produces a beautiful indigo much in the same way it did over a thousand years ago.

Any eco-conscious person who is passionate about clothing falls into one of two categories. Those who already know about what is being done at Woad Barn near Dereham in Norfolk and those who should know!

Eco-clothing doesn't just stop at using natural fibers. Replacing the use of harmful chemical dyes with natural dyes is just as important.

Woad-inc is a farm run by a friendly couple who are passionate about farming woad and extracting the indigo pigment. Ian Howard and his wife Bernadette run workshops on woad dying, explain the intricate process and share their fascination with woad. Their shop gave me the feeling of being back in Japan, where indigo is just as popular today as it was centuries before. A visit to their website is a must for anyone interested in natural dyes and if you can make your way to Norfolk, their workshop comes highly recommended.