Happy Accidents

shabd shibori dye
Surely you’ve heard of Shabd, the mastermind behind today’s tie-dye revolution? Shabd Simon-Alexander is an internationally renowned textile artist/designer with a popular claim to fame: she taught Martha Stewart herself how to tie-dye! (And really, what else would you need on a resume?)

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Earlier this summer, Shabd and I chatted a bit about her career thus far and I was particularly taken with this specific story of her path to success…

shabd shibori dye

“After a year of carrying giant Ikea bags full of wet tie-dyed fabrics to the laundromat (I was strong, but sore!), I finally invested in a washing machine for my studio,” she writes. “Being environmentally conscious, I of course bought an eco friendly machine, only to find out that what makes them better for the environment (low water usage) also makes them terrible for tie-dye – it makes the colors all muddy. That was an expensive mistake! Since i couldn’t return the machine, I ended up developing new dyeing techniques that worked well with the machine, and the results were fantastic!”

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And isn’t that the way it works? We plan and save and research and invest in what we think will make our lives easier – as women, as creatives, as humans. And sometimes, it works. But other times, we’re forced to improvise and practice the flexibility we never realized we had. It’s precisely what makes the process so beautiful.

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Sometimes, the solutions to our problems aren’t black and white. Sometimes they look a bit muddied, blended and frayed and bent.

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Sometimes they look a bit like tie-dye.

Image Credits: Shabd Is My Name

p.s. Just for fun: hand-dyed leggings.

  • And here I thought we here at Heyne Bogut were the masterminds behind the revolution! I started my career through craft and soon realized the fashion market was much more open to my experimental approach to textile design. Walked right in to Fiourucci’s and Patricia Fields and started my life in fashion. In this world of mass produced mind numbing sameness , hand made textiles keep the individual in the process. We have been making hand dyed- hand printed – hand painted textiles for fashion for over 25 years.

  • Love the story behind them! Adapting can sometimes be the best thing for a project and we end up making something so much better, and I love that last dress! Gorgeous!

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