From Dakar with <3
Earlier this year, we spent time in Dakar, Senegal with Cheikhouna, a master dyer, and his family to develop hand-dyed textiles using traditional stitch resist and wax resist techniques.
We couldn't be prouder to share with you the incredible work of this team!
Stitch resist dyeing
For our Clean Slate and Cascade prints, Cheikhouna used a stitch resist technique called sitiba, where the design is hand-stitched into the fabric before dyeing. As you can guess, this is a super time-consuming practice, but the results are stunning!
Sitiba is rarely produced anymore not only because of the amount of time it takes, but because of the complexity of the technique. Cheihknouna is probably one of the last dyers in Dakar who practices this technique, and while he trains apprentices, he stitched every piece of fabric for our production himself.
Wax resist dyeing
For our Blockbuster and Good Impression prints, you may be familiar with this technique already, since this is also known as batik! (We've used this technique for our hand-dyed prints in Ghana, as well.) As a quick refresher -- hot wax is applied with a stamp to fabric, which is then dipped in a dye bath, and then later heated to remove the wax.
For Good Impression, you can see that this print has two colors, black and blue, which require two rounds of dyeing. First the wax is applied and the fabric goes into a black dye bath, and then the wax is removed and the fabric goes into a blue dye bath, which fills in the spaces that the wax left!