How To Dye With Plants
create with nature.
Introducing AMMA’s First Guide To Dyeing With Plants.
Yellow is one of the most abundant colours in nature. Yellow is everywhere I look. You might see green, but I see yellow. I've spent the last 6 years turning plants and food waste into colour. Colour, that can be used to dye textiles; along with provide employment and new skills to a team of mothers living on Sri Lanka's tea estates. Together we have formed AMMA Natural Textiles, a social enterprise which has become one of the leading practitioners of natural dyeing in Sri Lanka.
For the first time, I have written a beginners guide to dyeing with plants - an accessible, working process that can be used by anyone, to start creating with nature from their kitchen. I've included the work of eight photographers who have all kindly donated their time and skills over the last three years to help us tell our story. The guide is available to buy here.
Being trusted with the responsibility to share the testimonies and life journies of the women that AMMA provides an alternative livelihood for, is one of my great privileges as AMMAs founder. I am in awe at the amount of resilience that exists within my team - and it makes me wonder why more entrepreneurs don't focus on employing mothers? They are surely one of the toughest, hard-working and compassionate sectors of society.
Providing fairly paid employment to women within the communities that they live solves a whole heap of problems. It’s simple stuff. If we can do it, it’s proof that everyone can.
Learn The Yellows
The guide focuses on 'learning the yellows' as the entry point to achieving successful colour from plants.
All ingredients that you'll find in your kitchen and all with the hidden superpower of turning your white t-shirt yellow.
I believe that the best things are also some of the simplest. For me, natural dyeing started as a simple joy that allowed me to fill my days with a creative practice that I love. It has become a very tangible way to provide employment and empowerment to a marginalised community of women. I strongly believe that rural employment needs to be the future, by providing employment to women within the towns that they live, tackles many of the UN's sustainable development goals... I'll save that one for another post!