About Tinctoria Natural Dyes
Most of the dyestuff we use is purchased from a Seattle based company called Earthues, Inc. (www.earthues.com). The company’s founder, Michelle Wipplinger has traveled the globe for thirty plus year developing relationships with communities, villages, and farmers to source traditional dyestuffs. Michelle’s company received a United Nations award in June 1995 for its commitment to earth stewardship and development of products that support and promote environmental sustainability .
Why Natural Dyes? We chose to use all natural dyes for many reasons. The most obvious reason is the low impact that they have on people and the environment. In using dye materials that come only from nature, we protect our environment and ourselves by reducing exposure to toxic chemicals.
Dyeing with plants and animals is a craft with its roots in indigenous culture. It is time consuming, labor intensive, and challenging to do on a large scale; as a result, the art of natural dyeing is slowly becoming obsolete in the industrialized world. For us, it is fun and creative and we are invested in being a leader in keeping the ancient knowledge alive. By using natural dyes, we help to create a demand for these products; providing income and incentive for people to maintain practices of local sustainability, remaining close to family and tradition. We feel rewarded knowing that we are supporting indigenous communities in doing what they and their families have done for thousands of years.
Our name, Tinctoria, comes from many of the plants that we use in our craft. Tinctoria is the species name for many of the dye plants that we use, and the word, translated from Latin means “to impart color”. If a plant has among its properties the ability to “impart color”, it may be a tinctoria. For example, the Latin name for the indigo plant, commonly used to dye things blue, is Indigofera Tinctoria. Since we so much enjoy the art of imparting beautiful color, we chose to name ourselves Tinctoria.