Arts & Crafts Magazine

High Fashion Hand Dyeing

By Somanycolors
Just before Christmas the New York Times had an article about Audrey Louise Reynolds, a self taught dyer who uses only natural ingredients.
High Fashion Hand Dyeing
They gave her quite a write up:
"It is rare for fabric makers to get much buzz, let alone credit in fashion bibles like Vogue and Lucky magazines. But Audrey Louise Reynolds, a 27-year-old self-taught designer who lives in Brooklyn, has emerged as the fashion world’s artisanal fabric dyer." 
High Fashion Hand Dyeingi
You can read the entire article here.
High Fashion Hand Dyeing
I thought it was great! From what I can see she has a great eye for color and her pieces really catch the eye.
She also has a video on YouTube about dyeing with strawberries. Not something I would do but no better or worse than lots of other videos.
However, some in the dyeing community have been pretty unhappy with techniques she used in the video. I don't dye silk but I'll take their word that fixing the color with vinegar won't hold the color permanently. Some also think she is doing a disservice to potential customers (who won't be happy when the color doesn't last)  and professional dyers (who will be less trusted by said customers.)
Based on my experience in a totally different medium, I disagree.
For 10 years I made hypertufa garden objects with my son. There were (and still are) lots of goofy videos and recipes as well as poorly made pieces for sale. I remember being at a garden show for the first time and three people walked up to me saying their pieces had broken over the winter. I explained they were not my pieces and directed them to the other hypertufa vendor.
It was always a part of the business to connect with the customer and educate them. Some had never heard of hypertufa and needed an introduction-sometimes no sale even after a long discussion. Those who knew about it easily understood the benefits of our mix and techniques. Didn't matter if they had tried it or had just seen it on Martha or in a magazine. They purchased more quickly even though our prices were high compared to others.
I look at hand dyed fabric in the same way. If the customer is somewhat aware of the process and that it is current (stylish), a sale is easier. To me, any exposure a customer has, positive or negative, opens up the opportunity for discussion and connection.
So Audrey, I wish you much success and lots more press!

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