TOP SEA SALT’S LATEST USE... IN SCARFMAKING:
AN ancient fabric dye favoured by Japanese Samurai warriors for its natural antibacterial qualities has inspired a textile designer to create a new collection of high fashion scarves.
Talented designer Gethin Ceidiog Hughes, 27, from Denbigh, has launched the Japanese denim scarves using indigo dye and techniques mastered by traditional weavers – and uses Halen Môn (Anglesey Sea Salt) mixed with white distilled vinegar as a finishing agent. The new range is the result of six months of painstaking research and experimentation.
The launch was timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup in Japan and to celebrate the growing links between the two countries.
Gethin recently embarked on a residency at Ruthin Craft Centre which was made possible by a £5,000 grant from Arts Council of Wales. Indigo is among the oldest dyes to be used for textile dyeing and printing in the world and dates back at least 6,000 years to Peru. The characteristic blue of the dye comes from the leaves of the Japanese Indigo plant, Persicaria tinctori, which has natural antibacterial properties.
Samurai soldiers wore original indigo-dyed garments under their armour as a way to protect their bodies from infection and to help cleanse wounds.
Gethin discovered that Anglesey Sea Salt from Halen Môn was the perfect “finishing agent”, helping to lock the colour into the cloth.
The scarves will be available to buy from stockists and online under Gethin’s brand Wilding, his mother’s middle name.
“It has been a real labour of love,” said Gethin.
“Japan is known for making the best silk and denim in the world. Nothing else can compete with the quality. It has taken a lot of experimentation and research to create something that is authentic and I’m really excited with the results.”
● Designer Gethin Ceidiog Hughes with his new denim scarves, which are made using Anglesey Sea Salt, below. Main pic: Mandy Jones