TOP SEA SALT’S LAT­EST USE... IN SCARFMAKIN­G:

Bangor Mail - - Front Page -

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

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