Colour system and sustainability

When it comes to sustainability, often the first thing that comes to mind is the colour system; sidestepping dyed wool. Dye-free threads are in fact 100% sustainable, and a wide part of our pieces is dye-free. However, there is room for colour and still advocate regenerative design.

The introduction of colour is an attribute of some weaving communities for whom colour is part of their DNA, it is associated with cultural aspects.

Colour plays an important role when it comes to local communities in South America, not only because it speaks about their heritage, but in an expressive aspect it relates to bringing colour to their daily life in contrast to their surroundings - dry weather and a landscape in neutral colours.

The dyeing process can be done with great care for the environment and the people who make them. The communities we work with learn to dye carefully and responsibly, taking meticulous care of their water and soil.

Natural dyes and lead-free mineral dyes

-Artisans use both natural dyes - such as soot, plants, vegetables peel, etc. - as well as lead-free mineral dyes.

-White Vinegar, Salt or Alum Stone (a mineral salt stone) are the mordants used in Mineral Dyes - without metals or petroleums. 

- Artisans across the region are aware of the need to take care of their environment since they and their animals eat and drink from it. Especially when the dye is a mineral, the artisans do it meticulously because: a) resources are truly scarce, and b) unlike plants, which are basically those that are in their environment or are leftover food, mineral dyes are bought, so it has a specific economic cost.

Water consumption

- Our dyeing process is about using resources consciously; artisans even weigh out the exact amount of dye using a precision scale for the water they will use to ensure there is no water leftover.

- When there is coloured water left and there is still wool to dye, they usually refill the pot with more water and dye without adding more colour; lighter colours are obtained which we usually use for the warp or for degradé designs.

- By using mineral dyes, since they do not contain lead, in case there is leftover water, it could easily be used to water the ground or as drinking water for animals since lead-free dyes are not toxic. [Lead is often used as a colour and gloss fixative and contaminates both water and soil]

At Allwina we believe that being sustainable is an iterative process,  and we're on our way. We choose our partners for their exceptional craftsmanship; best practices are embedded in our selection criteria.

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