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Discovering Local Dyes - Mango and Eucalyptus

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Discovering Local Dyes - Mango and Eucalyptus

What's On Your Doorstep?

It's very interesting to see what you can find in your natural environment. When I started my dye journey at the beginning of this year, I was a little frustrated that most of the research was based on plant dyes based overseas.  Did that mean I would have to import my colours from another country? Surely there are colours that Singapore can offer.

Singapore relies heavily on its neighbours for a variety of goods, including food and products that require natural resources.  The last I heard it was 90% of our food is imported, and when I read about Qatar being cut off diplomatically, it was very unsettling to know that one day we could be in a similar situation. Imagine having food shortages! How can we rely less on imports? Could we rely on the circular / sharing economy? We have secondhand clothes, used furniture and thrift stores, but what about our food?

I have recently discovered a whole community who are challenging the norms that our food has to be imported, and they are growing their own vegetables in roof top gardens and in communities. There are others who are encouraging foraging.

Mamakan

Rediscovering My Neighbourhood

I was really excited to find a whole cluster of mango trees and eucalyptus trees, and yes, all in my neighbourhood. To be honest, I hadn't noticed them until I decided to take long walks in the park. I found beautiful green mango leaves, long eucalyptus leaves and eucalyptus bark on the floor of the park. It felt like winning the lottery and these were bagged, washed and dried when I got at home.

Eucalyptus trees

Eucalyptus bark and natural dye

Mango leaves and natural dye

Mango And Eucalyptus

The next step for me now is to experiment how these beauties translate into colours.  It will be exciting because I will be using them as part of my next project with Design. Stay tuned for my next post!
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Abdelghafour

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