USING NATURAL MATERIALS LIKE MARIGOLDS, INDIGO AND EARTH FROM DRY RIVERBEDS, TEXTILE ARTIST EDIE URE CREATES COVETWORTHY PILLOWS.
Designer Edie Ure uses botanical dyes in her fabulous silk velvet pillows. PHOTO BY EDIE URE
EDIE URE (@EDIEURE) WORKED WITH FASHION DESIGNERS and stylists in Milan, Paris and her hometown of London before moving to New York to design textiles for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. She partnered with Ulla Johnson on a children’s clothing line with prints based on fairy tales. “It was very romantic,” she says. But when she and her family moved to Boulder in 2006, she was at a loss. “My whole life was fashion. It was urban,” she says. “I moved out here, and I was suddenly in nature. I literally didn’t understand the language of being outside at all.”
“Natural dyes have more depth than synthetic color,” Ure says. PHOTO BY EDIE URE
Ure took an indigo dye workshop with artist Donna Brown, who founded a natural dyeing garden at the Denver Botanic Gardens. “Her studio was filled with these incredibly beautiful colors from natural dyes,” Ure says. “I got really inspired.” She shared her newfound passion for plant-based dyes with fashion designer Ryan Roche. Using an avocado seed dye from Ure’s natural dye palette, Roche turned cashmere from Oregon goats a lovely pink shade, presenting her looks to Vogue editor Anna Wintour. “Avocado seeds are like the gateway drug to natural dyeing,” Ure says. “That was really my beginning.” New York designers like Aurora James from Brother Vellies began calling Ure for color palettes to make their fashion lines more sustainable.
Using Japanese indigo she cultivates at home and foraged materials like pine cones, goldenrod, juniper wood and dandelions, Ure handcrafts gorgeous silk-velvet down-stuffed pillows for shops like Hygge Life in the Vail Valley, Clayton Members Club & Hotel in Denver and Amangiri in Utah. Ure branched out to wallpaper featuring her nature-based artwork using earth pigments, botanical inks and pressed wildflowers. She has been foraging charred wood from Boulder’s recent wildfires, grinding it down to a fine powder to create black ink for drawing. The resulting wallpaper is printed sustainably onto clay-coated paper using water-based inks.
Ure teaches workshops at her home studio and private workshops worldwide. “It’s a way to connect people back to the earth,” she says. She’s done workshops at Hygge Life, and this summer from July 24 to 31, Ure will be teaching a workshop in indigo and botanical fabric dyeing at Zapata Ranch in the San Luis Valley, where she’ll show students how to use indigenous plants like St. John’s wort and rabbitbrush—as well as the bright red cochineal beetles found on prickly pear cactus plants—to create vibrant dyes.
“What I’m trying to do is design from nature using nature,” she says. “If you’re going to bring something into the home, it all needs to resonate.”