Several years back, Kathryn Davey was newly divorced and raising her three daughters in San Francisco when she took up indigo dying. “I had always been into art and natural crafts,” she says, “and in the Bay Area I was exposed to a very creative community.” Completely self-taught, she learned from what she found on the internet, in books, and through trial and error—and got so adept that she was asked to lead workshops at the HandCraft Studio School in El Cerrito.
Davey and daughters have since moved back to her native Dublin, and she now runs her own design studio specializing in naturally dyed textiles. Davey works with linen produced in the last surviving linen factory in the south of Ireland, sewn in Dublin, and hand tinted. She keeps things small batch and sells her designs to stores in Ireland and beyond, and also on her own site, Kathryn Davey. Many sell out quickly, but watch her Instagram account—@kathryndavey—for tip-offs about the latest batches.
Photography by and courtesy of Kathryn Davey.
Try your hand at making naturally dyed textiles:
- Plant Dyes from Permacouture
- DIY: A Tumeric-Dyed Tablecloth
- DIY: Make a Natural Fabric Dye from Wisteria
- DIY: A Tablecloth Dyed with Red Cabbage