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Our Process: The Art of Naturally Dyeing Silk Ribbons

The process of natural dying is a slow one. Each of our items is unique in its own right, harbouring it's own unique features. Whilst we strive to provide unblemished items, we believe that what makes each of our items unique, are the features which they bare. From marbling to pigmentation, each item has a story to tell all of its own. We don't strive for perfection, because we know that it simply doesn't exist. We see past the imperfections, harnessing the beauty that nature has produced.

01. Preparing the fabric

The Silk Studio only works with natural fabrics. This is to ensure a successful result when dying with natural dye materials. We are proud to now offer silk with GOTS certification. In order for silk to obtain this certification, it must be made from at least 70 percent certified organic natural fibres. Whilst some of our old and existing stock may not hold this certification, it is still marketed as 'organic'. 

After having cleaned the fabric, depending on whether it is of a protein or cellulose base, we will use a 'fixing agent' to ensure the natural dye materials bind. This prevents the colour running or fading - albeit it's impossible to prevent this entirely when working with natural dyes. It's for this reason that we refer to our collection as being made with 'living colour'.


02. Selection of dye materials

We use a variety of natural dye materials, from leaves, flowers, barks, roots, fruits, vegetables and insects. Occasionally, we will use extracts which are derived from natural sources, this is particularly where dye matter is not available because it originates from a faraway source which is not native to the UK.

The amount of dye material used depends on the weight of the fabric. We will weigh it out and do a careful calculation using a trusted formula to ensure the right quantities. The amount of time we dye the fabric for will depend on the colour we are looking to achieve.


03. Hand tearing and pressing

Once dry, the fabrics are then either hand torn or cut to form a runner, napkin or ribbon. We then neaten them by removing any frayed edges. We hand press each item to ensure a smooth finish.


04. Hand rolling and folding

All our ribbons are hand rolled onto their own wooden dowel to reduce creasing and maintain a smooth texture. Some of our items are too big for dowels, such as our silk scarfs, runners, and velvet ribbons. Instead, the are hand folded and bound securely with our packaging.


05. Packaging

We lovingly package each order using 100% recyclable packaging and send our ribbons via The Royal Mail using 2nd class delivery, however express delivery options are also available at checkout