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Yesterday I joined mystic Rebecca Burgess and herbalist Cheryl Fromholzer as they pioneered the emerging yet ancient field (love that!) of medicinal dyes for our clothes in a local workshop. entitled "Healing Clothes: Making Dyes & Natural Medicine." Ancient because it's been done for 2500+ years, mostly documented in the Ayurvedic tradition. Modern because it's low carbon footprint, super-eco and, well, sexy. Above is a dress by a New York designer named a.d.o. clothing that Rebecca introduced me to - herb-dyed in indigo, organic loveliness. As used in the dress above, we worked with indigo, madder root, turmeric, nettle, rosemary and fennel.
I noted during the workshop that nearly all the medicinal properties of the dyes we discussed included lymphatic cleansers. Hello? Doesn't that make sense in some higher order system that what we wear against our skin would also work on the system immediately beneath our skin, namely the lymph that scours our cells, seeking the bad guys, turning them out, sending all the fluid love back to the heart? We all need a rigorous lymphatic system, as that keeps us taut and pert (we, the women of 40+, particularly need this).
Why does working and learning from Rebecca make me so happy? I have a few ideas: perhaps it's her charisma and buoyant energy. Always good to surround oneself with people like this. Perhaps it's her naturally-dyed clothes offering: a gorgeous alternative to the conventional, toxic clothing world. Or her way of educating us to lessen our carbon footprint in a way that feels accessible and less sanctimonious than, say, riding a bike to work (how do I do that with 2 kids to drive to school 5 and 10 miles away?).
Rebecca lives a radical concept: wear clothing from within 150 miles for one year. She is a mystic from another world, as many of you know from my previous posts. We've hosted her here in Oakland a few times previously. Check out her Fibershed Project right here. Oh, and what could be better than her explaining it herself....Gathering Thyme is a gorgeous space in San Anselmo. Cheryl is a co-founder and opened her beautiful space last October. We sat in a circle, talking about the medicinal properties of the luscious colors we were to use that day in our dye baths, including....
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