Hazel Stark’s New Textiles
It was only just last year that we were wondering what brilliance Hazel Stark would produce if ever she turned her attention to designing and making full-time, and already we have the answer. Having left her job with Ally Capellino earlier in the summer, Stark initiated work on her new collection, Naturally Dyed #1, with a long period of research into materials. Guided by her own values of slow and environmentally responsible production and wanting to work with fabrics and dyes she had faith in led Stark to working exclusively with European sourced linens and natural dyes. During this time she happily stumbled upon a research unit in the South of France producing naturally sourced dye-stuffs on an industrial scale, and, excited by this “best mix of high tech and organic bio-chemistry” she set to work, hand dyeing and printing her linens.
Although led by her conviction that natural substances produce the best quality color, the earthy tones associated with natural dyeing did not fit with Stark’s established aesthetic. But through experimentation with different mordants and by adding additional (secret) ingredients to the dye bath Stark has succeeded in producing a very fresh palette of candy colors from entirely natural substances. That minty green? Pond sludge. That oh so perfect shade of pink? Madder cut with a pH altering ingredient — just enough to tip it into that fresh coral tone.
These delicious colors come in the form of linen goods, made to order and hand stitched by Stark herself — oversized tote bags, aprons, large and medium linen cloths and napkins. In other words, beautiful quality basics that will fade gently and wear softly showing the history of their own use. Although this is a collection produced with good values and sound ethics at its heart, Stark has, first and foremost, produced an overwhelmingly desirable collection, that is aesthetically as far from its earthy roots as could be. Visit Stark’s Instagram to see the collection in process and then hop on over here to grab yourself some pieces from it.