Field Lab Tee: Experimenting with Wild Harvested Dyes

Celine Thibault, who you may remember as the smurf-handed, good witch of Desert and Denim, standing over her cauldron of boiling plant dye, is the mastermind behind the hand-dye process of Juniper Ridge’s first hemp, wild-dyed tee-shirt.

Celine started the process of producing this limited run of unique shirts with Jungmaven’s light-weight, organic hemp and cotton fabric. She converted the loading bay in our Oakland Workshop into a dye house for two weeks during production

“I began dyeing two years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico. Now I hand dye small run, handmade goods and teach natural dye workshops through my studio, MOON.” explains Celine. But Desert & Denim was her first experience working with California native plants.

When asked about the relationship between wilderness perfume and natural plant dyes, Celine says, “I remember talking to Joshua Tree locals – people who grew up there. They explained that the scent of Creosote is their memory of rain. When it rains, the steam carries creosote oils into the wind creating a potent musk. Only after experiencing rain in another landscape did their memory of Joshua Tree rain become meaningful. Scent doesn’t come in a singular form. It exists in the air, in perfume and (now) the fibers of our clothing.”

Celine is not sure if this project will ever be presented this way again. “There’s no way to ensure consistency with natural plant dyes without chemicals. That’s why they’re so lovely. Each bath is the discovery of a plant’s life cycle and subsequently a new journey. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? Carving out a unique story with plant dyes is exactly what Juniper Ridge does with harvest stories. No two batches are the same, each reflects a specific time and place.”

Each shirt is unique, radiant and textured. With so many plants to use, I don’t know if we will return to Creosote for our next run (if there is one). Wouldn’t a Siskiyou cedar shirt be beautiful?

Juniper Ridge’s first Field Lab Tee launches this Thursday through The Wildcrafter.

Sign up below to be the first to hear about it!