by Lin Hsin-Chen
The technique of extracting dyes from plants and use them to color fibers and create classic textures is one of the original features in Taiwan. Located in the subtropics, there are many endemic species in Taiwan. Due to the unique climate conditions, we also have relatively abundant colors of plants. I had a long-term study on natural dyes. It’s my great honor to collect color samples of endemic plants of Taiwan for library collections.
As a quilter, I have always been fascinated by dyed fabrics with ever-changing natural textures, or beautifully designed patterns. Something unique and irreplaceable always attracts my attention. This is from fiber artists’ point of view. However, during my study, I met a variety of creators from different areas, such as fashion designers and craftsmen. They ask for fabrics that are evenly dyed and without color spots. It’s a demanding task.
I might have more struggling learning experience than others. I love natural dyeing, and therefore I enjoy doing research and paying hard works. Now I treat natural dyeing with more respect, because I know the preciousness of natural ecosystem. We shall cherish and preserve such uniqueness.