Vegetal Dyes : Colorfast, fugitive color, What Guarentees?

In the termonolgy of vegetal dyes, one speaks of colorfast "grand teint" and fugitive color "petit teint".

The colorfast plants have been listed differently by each epoque, according to detailed regulations. They are a bit numerous.

In general, the plants of our regions known as "grand teint" plants are :

Weld, for yellow,
Woad, weaver's-woad and indigo for blue,
Safflower and madder for red,
And the tannin plants, like nuts or numerous barks.

In the past, the exigence was great, because the search for dyes was first and foremost motivated by the value of the tapistries, which had to retain the intensity of the colour over the course of time. The greatest enemies of vegetal dyes are the sun and daylight in general.

When one realises that some tapistries required the work of 5, 6 or even 10 people, during several months, one understands the need for this strict regulation.

The dyes for clothing do not need to last for centuries.

I do my best to use the most resistant dyes possible, even if they are not always colorfast, by oxigenating the dye bath to the open air for a day before dying the fibres or material. I then add a bit of a colorfast plant to the dye.

A colorfast added to the dyeing bath of a fugitive color plant increases the colour fastness.

If at anytime you find that the colour of a naturally dyed product bought from this site has faded, I invite you to contact me to find a means of compensation.

I cannot guarentee exactly the same colour. In adddition, vegetal dyes vary with the seasons...

I can, nevertheless, offer you another product or the re-dyeing of said product.

You can visit the results of dyeing process at here

Care of Silk

Washing :

Silk, when it has been tinted and painted by hand, not only takes washing well, but it comes out more beautiful each time!

Certain rules, however, must be respected.

For the silk painted with chimical inks :

Theese silk have been steamed for two hours and they are extremely solid.

Wash silk by hand only (and never with other articles).

Silk must be washed in tepid or cold water, according to the instructions. The maximum temperature should be 35° C or 113° F.
A slight lightening of colour may occur, especially when the colours are intense. This lightening is normal.

Use a mild detergent or soap flakes.
Rub gently, but don't let the silk soak in water for long periods of time.

Rince abundantly and several times in tepid water, lightly wring dry.

Roll the silk in a towel to remove the surplus water.
Allow to dry away from heat or sunlight, just until the material is slightly humid.

For a large piece it is, of course, difficult to roll it in a towel.

You can place it on a drying rack, if the size is convenient, and place the towels underneath it.
Or, if you do not have a suitable dryng rack, you can hang it on a line and place the towels between the layers of silk as well as underneath the article.

Never allows the silk to come into prolonged contact with another section of the silk! This can produce an effect of de-colourization or staining.
Even with the towels, it will be necessary to use a container or bucket under the line to catch the surplus water.

For the natural dying.

some plants are great tint, other small tint. Some specific explanation are send with each piece bought.

Ironing :

Most of the scarves or hanging have no recto neither back.

Iron the silk while it is still humid, setting your iron to the temperature for "Silk".
If it is dried, spay some water.
Do not forcefully iron the seams.

Chinese Knot

Chinese Knot

Here is a knot that is easy to make and this is a nice way to knot the scarp around your neck.

If you find this difficult, you can make it on a table and then place the scarf around your neck.

With fine silks, slightly misted, you can give it different looks.

As a neck scarf, giving it the shape of a flower is a lovely effect.

You can see on the products pages, other knots.

Still in my memory

The landscape of ricefields in the Japapnese countryside behind the shoji of the room. It was a tender green field which stretched far and wide.
A light, intensified by the humid nature of the leaves of rice, emited an aura above the field of herbs, already a bit dried by the sun. The green of the rice was the tender green of Springtime, soft and alive, under the warm Summer light.

A sensation of intimacy eminated from behind the shoji.
The ricefield was faraway.

The light filtered through the rice paper which was aging and yellowed.

But all the landscape seemed enveloped by a pale grey opacity, a bit like a mist which had lost all of its humidity. The green of the rice plants
became distanced, losing that aura which evapourated around me.

I opened the shoji, and the ricefield offered its luminescent aura anew.

Long afterwards, the strongest sensation still in my memory, is that of the intense and sweet luminosity, just as the strange sensation of a
neatly contoured landscape which yet, seemed covered in a veil.

Make (or re-make) rolled bands

Short noren are often decorated with narrower ornamental rolled bands of material.

If these bands become rumpled or the rolls lose their form :

You can iron the band under a damp cloth on the setting for "wool" or "cotton".

If the rolled bands become un-done :

To obtain the beautiful rolls at the end of the bands, do as follows :

1. Place the band on a flat, horizontal surface
2. With the aid of a steamer or damp cloth, moisten the lower portion of the band(s)
3. Make a small roll just a bit higher than you would like it to be
4. Allow to dry in this position. Once the piece is hung, the roll will retain its lovely form but will
very gently unfurl.

Feng Shui

This presentation of Feng Shui is here as an introduction to the art of Feng Shui and does not in any way pretend to offer counsel or diagnosis.

In fact, even if one defines Feng Shui as a Chinese Taoist Art form, it is, nevertheless, a very sophisticated science which was only passed from Master to Disciple after a long apprenticeship. It was only in the 1980's that it spread and became popularised in the West.

The goal of Feng Shui is to harmonise and equalise energy, leading to better health and/or prosperity. Litterally, Feng Shui means "Water Wind".

Several schools of Feng Shui developed in China, making the reading of the different elements more and more complex. These schools use a compass, the "bagua" (the octagonal diagram representing the 8 directions and containing the digraphs of the book of divinations, the Yi King), based on the theory of the five elements, which refer to the telluric forces, the temporal factor, the ying and yang, the nine shooting stars and their magic square of 9 numbers...So much knowledge of the diverse origins of the multiple interactions called for in addition to the training needed to master the diagnoses and remedies for the bad circulation of energy in a given area.

For centuries, the Chinese consulted the Masters to plan their cities and construct their homes; and businessmen called on the experts of Feng Shui to decide where to place and how to arrange their offices.

Since the 80's, Feng Shui has spread and become popular, first in the United States and then throughout the West. Along with this popularisation, Feng Shui has become impregnated with much superstition and is often a strange mixture of beliefs and recipes which are wrongly called Feng Shui.

A number of architects, have become interested in Feng Shui, and collaborate with masters or initiates and have acquired certain basic principles which have sensistised their way of feeling the circulation of energy.

Because of this popularistion, we have access to the basics which allow us to balance and enrich our lives and where we live.

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