January 2, 2013 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
Packed in a stylish wooden suitcase with a leather handle, the mobile workshop contains natural dye plants and sustainably sourced hand dyed bamboo fiber socks, each of which comes with a pack of seeds, instructions, and all the necessary tools for cultivating and producing your own vibrantly-hued plant dyes.
Slow Alternative to Fast Fashion
“By connecting seasonal fashion with seasonal plants, the experience of nature’s seasonal shifts within the urban environment is amplified. ‘Seed Socks’ offers a sustainable slow alternative to fast fashion,” explains designers Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves.
One can create natural dyes with readily available ingredients using ordinary pans and on a kitchen stove. Seed Socks, explains the designers, “is an instigation of the cultivation of dye plants on windowsills and in the disused gaps throughout the city culminating in a plethora of colourful socks on the streets.”
Studi Swine’s Blackberry Dye Recipe
1. Pick some blackberries.
2. Mix water and sea salt (16:1), put the socks into the mixture, and bring it to a boil. When it begins to boil, turn the heat off and leave the socks to soak in the salt water for one hour. Give the socks a rinse.
3. Add the blackberries to some water (1:4). Cook the mixture for 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and mash the berries. Let the mixture boil for another 30 minutes and strain the pulp. When there’s no more pulp in the juice, bring it to a boil again. Pour the mixture into a beaker and dip the pre-prepared socks. Leave them to soak for five hours.
4. Take the socks out of the dye and rinse them in a solution of water and vinegar. Hang them to dry.