by Dikshita Bansal

I am a designer and researcher who loves to work with a multidisciplinary perspective. I have always been drawn to natural materials and try to incorporate lifestyle traditions and nuskhas (recipes) passed on by my mother. 

Learning from the process

In my practice as a designer,
I am more driven by the process rather than the final outcome.
I enjoy the slowness of working with natural materials,
and see it as an opportunity to learn.
I have learnt to
be patient
– observe
– build a special connection
natural material - yarn dyeing
natural material - mini vat

My journey with natural dyeing began a year ago. It started as a hobby and has since become a professional practice. During my second year of MA, I came across a project that benefitted from natural materials and helped bring awareness about the difference they can make the environment and also the mind and the body. 

Natural dyeing – an ongoing discovery

A lot of my mother’s recipes include Ayurvedic herbs. Inspired by the properties and qualities I began my research to see how medicinal herbs could replace harmful chemical dyes and make the product sustainable and skin-friendly. I began dyeing from what was available at home, using ingredients such as ashwagandha, neem, saunf to name a few.

natura material - Ayurvedic ingredients
Images of the herbs I use for dyeing

It is an ongoing journey, but I immensely enjoy the process. The nature of the process, the slowness of it connects me to my roots, it makes me aware of what I am creating, it allows me to build an interpersonal connection with my design practice. The uncertainty of the final outcome using the same recipe is what keeps the curiosity alive.

Abundance of nature….

Natural dyes have connected me to nature and made me more aware of my surroundings. Wherever I go, I automatically find myself observing, leaving no chance to forge dyestuff, waiting eagerly to explore the potential. The process is more like a meditative practice – becoming aware, staying in the moment, observing, and working towards the outcome with a focus.

About the author

Dikshita Bansal is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher based between London and her hometown in India. She visions her practice as a way to give back to society and the community we live in. Dikshita is passionate about human-centered design and also looking at how textiles can become a language to promote well-being. She is graduating from The Royal College of Art, London with an MA in Textile Design, this summer(June’21). 

Contact – 

Instagram – @dikshita.bansal 

Image Credit: Dikshita Bansal
Featured Image: Library of Natural Colours.

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