Zuri Dispatch 02.15.22 // Dispatch from Dakar! 🎉💗

Posted by Sierra Rostal on

Since we first met master dyer Cheikhouna in Dakar 2019, we've been lucky enough to collaborate on several gorgeous stitch resist and stamped wax textile collections together, and we couldn't be more thrilled to share this next selection of prints with you.

This is an especially exciting release for us as well--due to the pandemic as well as the small-scale, artisanal nature of his process, these textiles took more than 14 months to complete, and all we can say is that it was absolutely worth the wait! We're so proud to share the first dresses in this collection, as well as a bit about the process, and we hope you'll love them as much as we do!

 

STITCH RESIST TECHNIQUE


In order to create a subtle, linear effect, Cheikhouna will stitch the cotton to create the desired pattern. He personally stitches every single meter to ensure consistency of both design and tension. The fabric will be dyed and then afterward, the stitching will be unraveled to reveal the final pattern. Our new Rive dress is a beautiful example of this technique.

STAMPED WAX BATIK
In order to create a bold, high contrast multi-colored repeat pattern, a stamped wax technique is used. First, Cheikhouna will meet with his craftsman to work on carving the desired pattern. Once that process is complete and the wooden stamp is finished, he'll begin heating and applying the wax. After the wax is dry, the textile will go through the first dye (teinture) bath, and if there's a contrast color, a second dip after the wax is heated and removed. In the case of our new Grassroots dress, the entire fabric was dipped in a base of aqua green, stamped with wax, and then dipped again in indigo before washing.

NATURAL ("BIO") TEINTURE
Cheikhouna is a master dyer and one of the last remaining teachers of the "bio" dye process in Dakar. He uses natural roots and leaves such as indigo, charcoal, saffron and turmeric to create subtle shades of blue, green, yellow and grey.

And now, for the dresses!!


WHAT WE'RE (ALWAYS!) LISTENING TO // Baaba Maal

Not a day goes by that we don't put on a Baaba Maal song. Today, it was The Traveller, and it made us feel happy, energized and in the mood to share. Originally from northern Senegal, Baaba Maal is a prolific artist who has collaborated with countless musicians, recently Mumford and Sons. We hope this album brightens your day!

WHAT WE'RE READING // The Day My Wartime Cat Went Missing by Rasha Elass
Rasha Elass' essay about living in wartime Syria with her two cats gives a new perspective on day-to-day life in a vibrant city that's become a warzone. Having decided to move to her birthplace in search of a deeper understanding of her home and to report on a country in transition before the Arab Spring, Elass uproots herself and her cats and finds herself in a city that transforms from vibrant cultural hub into warzone in a matter of months. Cat lover or not, this essay captures the constancy of companionship against the backdrop of great uncertainty.
WHAT WE'RE READING // The Fonio Cookbook by Pierre Thiam
Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam created a cookbook around fonio, an ancient "miracle grain" of his childhood that he believes could change the world. Grown for centuries in Africa, fonio is not only nutritious and gluten-free, but also as easy to cook as rice and quinoa. The Fonio Cookbook is full of simple recipes for the home cook, and you can read more about his book in the NYT here!

 

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