Kylie is a natural dyer and textile designer who creates colour from dye plants. She also focuses on using natural fabrics like organic cotton, UK grown organic peace silk and deadstock fabrics. Natural dyeing is a process of extracting natural pigments from a variety of plants and dye stuffs like roots, barks, leaves, food waste and floral waste.
In her practice she hand-dyes cloth using a water saving technique called bundle-dyeing, shibori: a resist method to create patterns, direct dyeing, mordant dyes, and PH modifiers to shift colours. Kylie also uses heritage dyes like dyer’s madder, which yields red anthraquinone dyes. Indigo, the natural blue of the world, which can only be extracted by a complex method; vat dyeing requires an understanding of chemistry.
Being a designer in one of the largest polluting industries, sustainability is particularly important to Kylie. Synthetic dyes pollute our waterways and synthetic fabrics shed microfibers that our skin absorbs, and these also end up in the sea via washing machines. Focussing on small scale, natural dye production and slow textiles, can help us become conscious consumers who buy less and choose well.