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Researching Blue

August 31, 2010

The fibershed challenge to resource local organic color and fiber from our bioregion has inspired the cultivation of many favored dye species.  What you see occurring in the picture above is a daily pre-sunrise ritual…. the watering of the Japanese indigo test plots.

There are four sites where we are currently growing the plant– each of them with different micro climates, soils, and watering regimes.  While the one year challenge is on a limited time scale– we intend to use the time wisely– and accrue as much knowledge as we can about the potential for each of these dye plants, fibers, and designs to be scaled upward, so that more individuals can begin to access bio-regional attire.

There remain many questions in regard to how this scaling process might look, in attempting to answer these queries it is time to find those with more experience.  To do this, I will be going to central France to study in the land where dye farms have been in existence for a decade– and where botanic based pigment is being grown for sizable textile applications.  It is thrilling to have the opportunity to learn and explore in a country whose environmental ethic drove them this direction so long ago.. it is comforting to know we are not alone in our mission, and that there are allies and wisdom keepers around to help us on our way.

We will be returning to you soon with more beautiful stories to tell…

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