4 January 2018: (…) “Larraona is among the last custodians of the age-old practice of cold vat dyeing—a process where the water is never changed, instead undergoing a refresh every day with ‘food’ for the microbes that enable fermentation. “It is the most eco-friendly way of dyeing. But it takes a lot of effort and money,” he says. “You need a good nose to tell if your vat has the right PH.” A trusted lieutenant maintains the pots, coming in even on holidays. When he first came to India, Larraona doggedly ploughed through fat 19th-century volumes published by state revenue and agricultural departments to learn ancient and vanishing processes of dyeing. “That is how I picked up English,” he says. At his house, a happy mess of toys, dogs and books, I flip through pages heavily highlighted in neon, detailing entire dyeing processes practised at the time in Sambalpur, Mysore and Seoni, among other centres. (…) The full article is available here: www.openthemagazine.com/article/new-year-2018-double-issue/the-dyeing-art-of-india
25 December 2017: Counting down to the new year – enjoying the last few days of 2017!
4 December 2017: The Hindu: “We are reliably informed there are more blue jeans on this planet than there are people, and Jesus Ciriza Larraona, a Spaniard, is currently working with dye manufacturers in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere to develop organic dye for Levi’s jeans. He also manufactures organic indigo clothing for Auroville.” In the picture Jesus with Nigerian artist Gasali Adeyemo, two dye-masters together at the Sutra. Jesus’ presentation telling the story of how The Colours came to be was very well received. www.thehindu.com article
25 November 2017: In Living colour is the heading of an article in the current issue of Elle Decor. “Ever wondered how your favourite colour came to be?” they ask and continue with saying they discovered theirs, indigo, near quaint Puducherry. It is a short piece beautifully featuring The Colours of Nature and we are happy to get the word out.
31 October 2017: Getting ready to go and tell the story of the beginnings of The Colours of Nature, how I started out designing a couple of chessboard carpets and ended up settling in South India and setting up a unit to offer natural dyes and dyeing.
The Indigo Sutra is an international event to celebrate, promote and revive natural indigo. I will tell my personal story of the revival of the natural indigo fermentation dye process in India, just as it was about to disappear forever…
Hope to see you in Kolkata! @TheColoursofNatureEcoDyes www.sutratextilestudies.com
25 October 2017: Implementation of the LS&Co. funded Collaboratory project to reduce water usage continues at The Colours of Nature. As part of the new natural indigo fermentation dyeing facility which will help reduce water usage, from fibre to fashion, new, larger vats will be fabricated and installed. Again, an Auroville-based construction unit is on the job. The Centre for Scientific Research (CSR) has already produced some of the vats currently installed at TCoN and the casting mold is already in place. They were clearly the right choice for the order of an additional 40 pots, each holding 1,000 litres of the liquid used for dip-dyeing. The drawings that serve as a basis for the making of these bio fermenter vessels, or amphoras, were produced by Jesus for The Colours of Nature. Contrary to the pots installed at the beginnings of this natural dye unit, the seam now runs vertically as opposed to horizontally as was previously the case. For more information, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/jesus-ciriza-larraona-34191031 #LSCollab @levistraussco.
5 October 2017: Not long ago Pranav Khanna, developing business at Frajorden, came to see us at The Colours of Nature. Hailing from conventional apparel manufacturing and export business – focus: Scandinavia – he now operates driven by an acute sense of sustainability. Frajorden (Scandinavian lingo which means “from the earth”) stands for responsible fashion made with love and organic cotton, and looking good every day. Of course, The Colours of Nature could have a roll to play in that. Pricing products to provide a possible alternative to less Eco friendly products through efficient manufacturing and low margins, yet ensuring the production process is certified from raw material to finished product, is also in line with our approach. As Pranav asked for a selfie, of course we had to oblige. For more, see frajorden.com.
19 September 2017: Kavita Parmar, the Founder and Creative Director of the IOU Project (and Jesus Ciriza Larraona’s fellow Collaboratory participant), another one passionate about a more socially and environmentally responsible apparel industry, recently shared on her project’s progress on the LS&Co. Unzipped blog. At The Colours of Nature, we appreciate both her reference to Utopias and her mention of our delicious eco-friendly natural dye unit, based in what is often referred to as a Utopia – Auroville. Kavita has done a lot of work to spread awareness on traceability and the empowerment of artisans and is glad to report a sense of these issues now becoming at least a little bit more mainstream. In love with the Madras checks (who isn’t?!?), the IOU work directly with hand loom weavers in south India and are now busy making their signature product, “the real madras shirt”, using less water. They, too, know about the importance of water and want to both save and safeguard. Makes sense, then, that Kavita and team, as they state, are “exploring using the natural dyes developed at The Colours of Nature”. We will certainly be happy to explore together! #LSCollab @TheColoursofNatureEcoDyes www.theiouproject.com #WhoMadeMyClothes www.levistrauss.com/unzipped-blog/2017/08/collaboratory-notes-field-iou-project
28 August 2017: Are you in Auroville, the international community dedicated to human unity, now? Then you may have spotted our flyer around the place or you may be searching online for the directions. That’s why we post here too! Welcome to our showroom, inaugurated on the double-whammy celebration day of India’s independence and Sri Aurobindo’s birthday August 15th! Vanakkam!
TCoN can be found at Auroshilpam, near Kottakarai village. Find directions on Googlemaps here. Open 10am-6pm, every day!
22 July 2017: For a view into the truly eco-friendly, where better spend the day than at The Colours of Nature? At least that is exactly what the participants of Upasana’s Desi Cotton Workshop did. On the second day of the workshop, Sunday June 25th (2017), Uma Hamaivati Prajapati, the Founder of Upasana, brought them all along to the site of TCoN. They did not have to go far.
Upasana Integral Design Studio has as its mission to create conscious sustainable fashion. Says Uma, “This business is my yoga”. Also in that, she and Jesus, the Founder of The Colours of Nature, are not far apart.
The Desi Cotton Workshop was the launch event of Upasana’s Conscious Fashion Hub project. Organised as a free event, the workshop aimed at empowering experts in the fields of cotton and fashion. India being one of the world’s largest producers of cotton, second only to China, Upasana deems it to be of integral importance to promote sustainable cotton production practices.