How do I wash/care for my Tinctoria clothing?

GOOD NEWS! All of our clothes are machine washable. We do recommend washing your clothes in cold water. You can also put them in the dryer (they have been pre-shrunk), but we find that color remains richer over time if they hang dry their clothes.

Please be VERY careful to add laundry soap to the machine BEFORE you add clothing - some detergents will discharge the dye if poured directly onto clothing. Please do not dry clean. The chemicals used in dry cleaning will destroy the dye colors.


Over time, we have come to realize that our dyes seem to be especially sensitive to citric acid (found in oranges, tomatoes, etc). Please be careful when eating anything containing citrus. If you do spill citric acid on your clothes, it will look as if the dye has been removed or bleached. The only approach we have found to be helpful is to wash the whole garment and the spot should become less obvious and hopefully will eventually fade away completely. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do in the dye studio (see "Can it be redyed?)

I stained my clothing.... How do I clean it?

Please do not spot treat your specially dyed garment as it will likely create an even bigger and more obvious problem. If you spotted your clothing, go ahead and wash the whole garment. Hopefully, your spot will lighten up over time.

Can it be redyed?

Unfortunately, redying the garment will not make a spot go away. It will only darken the whole garment and there will still be a color difference between the spot and the rest of the garment.

Are there toxic chemicals in Tinctoria clothing?

No. This is one reason why we have chosen to make our clothing from eco-fibers and to color them with natural dyes derived from plants and trees. All the materials used to make your clothes came directly from nature. There were no pesticides or harmful chemicals used to grow the plants for the fabrics or dyes. They are safe to wear and their creation did not harm the environment.

Can I order clothing that is undyed?

Yes. We garment dye our clothing. That means that the garment is sewn together and made as a blank before it is dyed. We would be happy to send you any of our designs in its natural unbleached state.

Are my clothes going to shrink?

No. Our dye process requires us to "cook" the clothing at very high temperatures (180 degrees!), sometimes for up to an hour. After the clothing is dyed, we rinse in warm water and then wash and dry it. Our clothes are all intensely pre-shrunk.

Are these clothes vegan friendly?

Yes and No. If you do not wish to purchase clothing dyed with animal products, you will want to avoid colors that include lac and cochineal (two types of insects used in dyeing), such as plum, grape, blackberry, and raspberry. If you have any questions about a dye color and are unsure if it contains bugs, please feel free to ask us or specify this information in your order and we can make other color suggestions. If you would like to know more about the use of lac and cochineal , how it is harvested and the communities involved, please visit the following sites:

For lac : www.fao.org/docrep/X5336E/x5336e0k.htm

For cochineal:

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.

Where do the fabrics come from?

Most of the fabrics we use to make Tinctoria clothing are milled in China. We have several American based companies who supply our fabric. Our suppliers are actively involved with the mills that make the fabric and closely monitor the production, work environment, and quality of the products made.