Natural Dyes

As a surface designer, the design is just as important as the color.

I mainly focus on using shibori and dip-dyeing techniques in all my work. I have also worked with resists, screen and block printing. But shibori and dip-dyeing have always allowed me to create that clean minimal look that I always strive for. There is something truly beautiful about creating a pattern just by the folding and binding of fabric. 

Most of my products are dyed using itajime shibori or dip-dyeing techniques. Each design is created with a clean and simplistic aesthetic in mind, while creating rich shades of natural color.

I primarily use natural indigo in my work. There is just something about those indigo blues that always keep drawing me in!

I’ve tried many different forms of dyeing with indigo such as fresh leaf dyeing, a fruit vat, iron vat, fermentation vat, and the vat I use the most—a fructose vat. I use a a vat size anywhere from a 5 gallon to a 30 gallon vat.

I will often use indigo to over-dye with other natural dyes. It allows for a wide variety of shades within each design.


Stick & Stone Designs

Surface Design

I recently shifted my focus from just indigo to other forms of natural dyes. I have experimented with other natural colors in small amounts over the years but now I will be selling products in new colors.
My new natural color experiments include madder, fustic wood, cochineal, onions skins, marigolds, black beans, turmeric, red cabbage, and much more to come! I use a mix between whole dye materials and powders depending on its availability.

I use an alum mordant to get those beautifully bright colors and an iron buff to get those sophisticated dusty colors.

I’m Emilie Didyoung, maker of Stick & Stone Designs. I live and work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have my studio space in my home where I dye and make all my handmade products.

My mission is to create custom textiles that use natural dyes in an attempt to remain conscientious of my affect on the environment. I am always interested in using processes and techniques that have been around for centuries while giving them a contemporary voice.