Photo: Courtesy of Floraobscura.nyc
While learning about different dye practices, designer and artisan Alison Dahl Kelly also discovered the unsavory facts about their synthetic processes.
“I was shocked to find out how toxic and polluting synthetic dyes are, and how terrible they are for the environment,” she said.
Kelly then turned to natural dying methods, which she found to not only be safe for the environment, but totally stirring for her creative process. This lead to the creation of Flora Obscura, a line of sustainable silk attire, printed with plant matter.
Kelly hand-dyes all of her silks in her Brooklyn and Cape Cod studios. Using eco printing and bundle-dying, she lays plant matter directly on the material, binds it and heats it to permanently transfer the pigments. The result is a beautiful, bespoke piece that has movement, drama and intense hues.
Flora Obscura’s wares are sustainably sourced, with dye materials being procured from florists or certified vendors. The silk is also created without any chemicals or synthetic additives.
In terms of future plans, Kelly says she is focused on honing her skills and refining the brand she built.
“My plan is to build the brand slowly and carefully, creating a product that is not only eco-friendly but luxurious and intriguing,” she explained.
More about Flora Obscura and its eco-printed silks can be found on their website.