I moved house a few weeks ago and have organized a lot of urgent home improvement tasks.
What do home decorating and natural painting have in common?
A lot if you ask me.
Have I ever told you why I started painting with plants?
This is actually why I wanted to create my own non-toxic, healthy fabrics.
This is the focus coloring books I wrote and why I started using it soy milk as a pre-treatment on fabric. I stopped using aluminum acetate after my first baby was born over 8 years ago. I share this in my first book Botanical Color at Your Fingertips.
My love for color started as a teenager when I dyed clothes with the dye bags you add to the washing machine (have you ever used them?!). Later, I would buy second-hand men’s shirts and turn them into dresses and skirts. It was around this time that I became interested in the composition of fabrics and ingredients in cleaning and skin care products.
At some point in my 20s I felt bad for a few weeks after having my coat dry cleaned and wearing it daily, but back then that sort of thing wasn’t talked about.
About 10 years ago, a turning point came when I read a book called Killer Clothes.
In Killer Outfits (affiliate link) I learned how seemingly innocent materials can endanger our health. It connected a lot of dots and was a huge awakening moment for me. However, we won’t get into the details now because we don’t need a worry in the world right now, do we?! When you’re ready for it, it’s an interesting read.
My main point was that I wanted to make my own healthy clothes and fabric.
Plant dyes seemed like the perfect choice and I’ve been wanting to experiment with them for years.
So what do home decor and natural paints have in common?
Home renovations can be difficult because many products and materials are toxic. One easy transition is paint; non-toxic, VOC-free paint is now ready. My favorite UK paint company is Lakeland.
Back to natural dyes: my goal has always been to create healthy fabric using safe ingredients. Along the way, I fell in love with the rainbow of colors.
If you are thinking of taking up botanical painting, then my books will guide you in a very simple, gentle way. Botanical Color at Your Fingertips is the best to start with.
So how – why did you start dyeing naturally? Or other crafts you love?