INDONESIAN PLANT DYEING

This is my second visit to the blissful natural dye garden on the east coast of Bali where all the plants used in the dyeing process are grown right next to the vats or boiling pots. 

You can see the indigo plants growing right beneath the drying cotton yarn. Under the bamboo shelter beautiful natural colours hang along bamboo poles as they dry out after the dye process. Pinks, yellows, blues, and reds hang above sacks of dried seeds, bark, skins and leaves all used for dye colour, dye preparation or colour fastening.

Papaya fruits are eaten by the family while the leaves are used as a mordant (to fix colour to fibre). Discarded metals are soaking in water to make rust which creates the black colour. The metallic blue foam floats above the indigo liquid ready to be transferred to cotton for that brilliant blue colour only ever achieved by the wonderful Indigo process. 

I come away mesmerised and inspired by the magic of nature and the wisdom passed down through generations keeping this incredible natural plant dye technique alive. 

Hannah Mitchell