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Found and Foraged: Naturally Dyed Goods by an SF Purist

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Found and Foraged: Naturally Dyed Goods by an SF Purist

October 5, 2016

“Farm to table” has reshaped how we eat, but now there’s a similar movement for the world of textiles and clothing: “soil to skin.” One artisan leading the charge is Matt Katsaros of Flint Outdoors, whose work with natural dyes we’ve been following for some time. At his studio in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset, Katsaros brews dyes from food scraps and found leaves and nuts foraged from the California landscape. The result? Moody, richly-dyed totes and subtle canvas aprons.

Contact Flint Outdoors for purchase information, or look for Katsaros’s work via Straw & Gold. Or, if you’re in California, head to General Store in San Francisco, which frequently stocks his designs.

Photography courtesy of Matt Katsaros, except where noted.

matt katsaros foraging with roll top bag on remodelista 9

Above: Katsaros is always searching for new dyes and pigments within the California landscape. “In the spirit of keeping the process loose and easy, I just grab what is around me and experiment—blackberry leaves, loquat, redwood bark, fennel. Oak galls I keep well stocked in my studio,” he adds, and even pulls over on the side of the road to collect them.

roll top backpack by matt katsaros on remodelista 10

Above: Katsaros’s olive green rolltop knapsack is ideal for camping or foraging, and is currently available for $325 via Flint Outdoors.

dyeing process by matt katsaros via instagram on remodelista 11

Above: “With natural dyeing, it’s super easy to nerd out, measuring dyestuffs to real specific amounts, mixing mordants in the exact proportions,” Katsaros says. “Soon enough your studio can start looking like a chemistry lab.” Instead, he advocates using a “looser” approach—as well as local, sustainable fabrics from projects like Fibershed, with whom he has a forthcoming collaboration.

stack of canvas aprons by matt katsaros via straw and gold on remodelista 12

Above: Naturally-dyed canvas aprons with brass grommet details and leather ties are available for $95 at Flint Outdoors. A similar work apron (shown) is available for $85 via Straw & Gold. Photograph courtesy of Straw & Gold.

grey canvas apron by matt katsaros via straw and gold on remodelista 13

Above: The work apron features three low, oversize pockets for easy access to tools. Photograph courtesy of Straw & Gold.

canvas beeswax totes by matt katsaros on remodelista, photo by bryson gill 14

Above: Katsaros hand-dyes canvas with natural pigments before coating it with beeswax from local bees and fashioning it into sturdy totes. Photograph by Bryson Gill, courtesy of Matt Katsaros.

canvas and leather tote by matt katsaros on remodelista 15

Above: A canvas and leather tool bag features hand-stitched leather handles—and would make an ideal overnight bag.

blue untitled quilt 2 by matt katsaros on remodelista 16

Above: “Quilts are something I am very keen on doing a lot more of,” says Katsaros, whose work is currently on display at Tartine in San Francisco. This patchwork quilt in gradients of blue shows the one-of-a-kind patterning that comes from Katsaros’s not-too-controlled approach.

Naturally-dyed linens are the new neutral. For more, see our posts:

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