The natural dye process is older than civilization itself, dating all the way back to the Stone Age (i.e. the Flintstones era). Natural dyes, which are derived from plants, were the primary source of color for most of the world’s fabric, but today only account for 1% of all dyes used worldwide.
Advances in dye chemistry in the 19th century introduced the world to synthetic dyes, which provided a cheap and efficient method of producing color, but also a process exceedingly harmful to the environment. Synthetic dyes are derived from petroleum and coal tar and create unfathomable amounts of wastewater that is dumped into rivers and water systems.
Our UNDU Collection returns back to the pure, sustainable and natural roots from which clothing has shifted from. Natural dyes produce raw, beautiful hues that cannot be replicated artificially and provide a depth of color that can only be found in the wild. Our collection is an homage to the rich but quickly fading history of the natural dyeing process.
I N D I G O
Indigofera tinctoria. Our blues are extracted from indigo, a historic plant first used in textile dyes over 6,000 years ago. Once only worn by royalty, indigo now is the most successful dye plant in the world, providing a steadfast and rich source of deep blues and purples. Marco Polo was the first European to report on the preparation of indigo in India.
M A D D E R R O O T
Rubia tinctorium and Rubia cordifolia. Our reds come from madder root, an ancient dyestuff that dates back to the 3rd Millennium BCE. Making its way across all major continents, madder eventually found its way to Turkey, whose rugmakers used the plant to color carpets their deep signature reds. Dutch and English spies smuggled the Turkish dyeing secrets, and thus the color was responsible for the red coats of the British Redcoats.
W E L D
Reseda luteola. Our yellows are from Dyer’s weld, a fabric dye and oil paint colorant used to dye the robes of the Vestal Virgins in Roman times. Weld produces intense yellows that are clear, bright, and unreplicable through synthetic means. When overdyed with Indigo, they create a deep shade of textured green, a historically difficult color to obtain.
L O G W O O D
Haematoxylon campechianum. Our purples are sourced from logwood (also known as bloodwood), historically used to yield deep, rich shades of purple, blue, and black. Logwood dye was first introduced in Europe in the 16th century in the form of logwood chips (hence its name) and was mainly used to dye textiles and leather. When used in conjunction with iron, shades of gray and black can be obtained.