Natural Fibers+Dyes

Natural Fibers+Dyes

About The Artist

Cindy Houston • Bowling Green, KY

We are what we wear I create one-size-fits-all fashions from organic cotton, hemp, and silk--naturally dyed then cut and machine sewn using zero-waste principles. People who experience my one-of-a-kind pieces of sustainable wearable art feel themselves draped in natural beauty. The textiles are soft, the natural dye colors are rich and earthy; the garment is a comforting capacious shape, that flatters every body.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My sustainable art-to-wear kimonos, ponchos, and shawls are all my creations, beginning with selecting the undyed yardage, then moving to the cutting table, and finally dyeing the finished pieces. I use organic cottons, hemp, and silk fabrics and zero-waste sewing patterns to minimize my environmental impact. I grow many of the dyes I use or forage for leaves in my neighborhood and compost all my waste.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

I consider each piece I create to be a gift from nature. I love growing and foraging for dye materials and experimenting with the color palettes nature provides. My sustainable practice has brought me into contact with amazing fiber artists, as well as suppliers of organic fabrics and natural dyes. We all share a common passion for the regenerative power of plants to give us life and beauty.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

The Japanese idea of Wabi sabi or the acceptance of transience and imperfection in art is an essential concept in my practice. Because there are so many variables at play when using natural materials--the ph of the dye plants and variations in their growing conditions, the temperature of the dye vat and ph of the water, the treatments and types of fabrics being dyed--outcomes are often suprising and uniquely beautiful. This element of the unexpected is what I think attracts people to my work as every piece is unique and reflects the time, place, and context of its creation.