I am so happy that everyone who uses my Indigowares knows that they are getting the most original hand dyed piece imaginable.
Indigowares is for the most free spirited bohemian existence.
Before creating Indigowares, I was a stay at home Mum bringing up two young children. I had been a textile designer previously but had put it aside to wrangle my kids.
One day I realised that everything was so mass-produced that in short there was hardly anything unique made in a traditional way with a contempory edge.
I was concerned that customers wouldn’t understand the process involved in getting to these beautiful textiles. But I realised if I drew on my knowledge and experience as a printed textile designer and weaver then I could create a product that came from the old Japanese techniques of Shibori, giving the textiles rich elegance and then adding a clean geometric twist that would look fresh and modern in todays world.
Why do I love what I do?
I love to design pattern and I love to make pattern on beautiful textiles.
Right back to creating the unique marks on the fabric before turning that fabric into a product. I love the process from drawing to design to the finished product.
I love the magic of shibori pattern making – that you never quite know how the design will turn out – even though you have wrapped and clamped it a dozen times before in the same way.
Why do I do it?
I have spent 20 years training and working as a textile designer.
From Brighton to Italy to New York and then back to London.
A lot of that time was spent in fast paced highly driven design studios. Creating new prints and embellishments for fashion houses – almost like we were a factory.
I steadily became a slave to this life and rated myself on the volume of sales I‘d achieved each month. As a designer you reach deep every time you create a new design. When you are doing this on a fast treadmill you quickly become self critical and burnt out. It can become painful designing.
So I stripped it back.
I had my kids and had them very close together. There was a gap of a year where I designed nothing and just changed nappies and moved house twice.
I became fascinated by traditional dyeing techniques and began to learn and experiment with the old Japanese art of shibori, a resist dyeing process of pattern making.
Hand dyeing in indigo is much slower and a more methodical method than chemical dyeing. This naturally occurring vat dye, which comes from a plant is one of the oldest dyes for colouring fabrics. It has been used for centuries all over the world and is still used for colouring our blue jeans.
It has a fascinating history and is as equally fascinating to use. The colour magically appears once the fabric leaves the dye pot and is exposed to air.
I have fallen in love again with the process of dyeing and designing pattern. I love feeling connected to old crafts and traditions.
I think ultimately I do what I do because I have listened to my heart. When I became a mum I started to look at the world differently.
I am a maker on and in every level of my life.
This way of creating – indigo dyeing and resist pattern making – seemed to fit into my life. So it began.
I was lucky, I was accepted onto a government run Business Enterprise scheme. Got given a mentor who gave me huge encouragement and confidence.
The real ‘why’ behind it all is that I want to be a Mum to my little ones – I want them to know who I am. I need to always to be there to pick them up – take them places – listen to them – help them at every stage in their journey to becoming independent people and starting their own journey.
At the same time I have a burning need to create pattern and beautiful things that make people want to touch them and know the story behind them. I like to encourage classic timeless design over passing trends, which will hopefully contribute to their longevity.
I love the direction my life is going and can’t wait for the new adventures ahead.