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Captain's Log: Captain Blankenship Blog

Rainbow Dyes

We just launched new packaging for our perfumes and it was a real labor love. I had a dream a while back that the scents would come in bags that were dyed to match their "color." I wanted to achieve these colors through experimenting with natural dyes from plants. We have spent a lot of time here indigo dyeing bags for our limited edition pouches and other projects, but hadn't gone into other colors. I always associate smells with colors and feel like each perfume evokes a hue. Sometimes the essential oils themselves lend beautiful colors to the scent. The pink grapefruit in Jaune gives it a gorgeous golden yellow color and the pine needle absolute in Seawolf turns it emerald. And sometimes the perfume itself just seems to evoke a color. Wolf Moon with its sexy air of ancestry and mystery always is crimson for me.We also just launched our newest scent Hiddensea, which is a bright, floral and watery, very blue. I wanted to share some of our experiments and observations if it is helpful for anyone elses forays into natural dyeing. For the yellow of Jaune, we used Turmeric and citric acid to color with salt as a fixative. In a funny turn of events, we initially just dyed the bags with Turmeric and salt and they turned a pretty mustard yellow, which was nice but didn't have the golden hue we were looking for. In a classic move, while drinking some fresh lemon and ginger tea, I spilled the whole cup on myself and a splash landed on one of the bags. Where the tea landed on the bag, it turned a bright yellow! Happy accident. We then wetted the bags and added some citric acid and voila! they all turned a bright shade. I kinda want to dye everything in our house this yellow. With the feet of snow accumulating outside, the color is a nice ray of sunshine. For the blue of Hiddensea, we dyed with indigo, calcium hydroxide (slaked lime powder) and fructose sugar.For the green of Seawolf, we took some of our yellow bags and added them to the indigo vat. At first they turned an olive brown and we started adding citric acid to achieve more of a forest green hue.For the red of Wolf Moon, we used Madder Root and chrome. We ended up with a reddish brown color and then added some beet powder and tiny bit of Cochineal. We ended up with a beautiful crimson. Next time, I think we will skip the chrome. Then we hand silkscreened the logo, ingredients and scent name on in white. Super happy with how they look. Excited to keep learning about natural dyeing as we go.