My name is Sarah
I’m a university student, fiber artist, natural dyer, and musician. I’ve been experimenting with Isatis tinctoria, Isatis indigotica. and other Isatis spp. since my first science fair project in 2007. I was a finalist at the Canada Wide Science Fair in Truro, Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. My project on Woad won 4 medals — 3 silvers and a bronze — at the national science fairs. Although I stopped competing in the science fairs after grade 10, I’ve continued to expand my research on woad and other natural dyes, as well as improve my fiber arts techniques. I love spinning, weaving, crochet, knitting and felting, as well as gardening and natural dyes.
In 2011, an article I wrote with my Mom on Saori weaving on a rigid heddle loom, was published in the Ashford Wheel magazine. For the last 4 Novembers I participated in NaNoWriMo and won. This blog combines my love of natural dyes, fiber arts, and writing in one project.
Oh, I’m also Scottish. My grand father came over to Canada from Carluke in 1926. Woad is the natural blue pigment that the Picts, of Scotland and the ancient Britons, scared the Romans with. “Wearing Woad” comes from the idea that our current clothing system is toxic to the environment. The pesticides, herbicides, dyes, coatings, detergents, and starches used in clothing manufacture, and sometimes the cloth itself, is poisonous both to the wearer, and the environment at every stage of manufacturing.
Its time to stop the insanity. Say no to toxic clothing and yes to sustainable, local clothing. Wearing Woad, harkens back to the defiance of the Picts when they were threatened by the Roman government and economic system. Wearing Woad also reminds us of the old Brit song:
The Ode to Woad
by William Hope-Jones, a housemaster at Eton,
- What’s the use of wearing braces?
- Spats and hats and boots with laces?
- Vests and pants you buy in places
- Down on Brompton Road?
- What’s the use of shirts of cotton?
- Studs that always get forgotten?
- These affairs are simply rotten,
- Better far is woad.
- Woad’s the stuff to clothe men.
- Woad to scare your foemen.
- Boil it to a brilliant hue
- And rub it on your back and your abdomen.
- Ancient Britons never hit on
- Anything as good as woad to fit on
- Necks or knees or where you sit on.
- Tailors you be blowed!!
- Romans came across the channel
- All wrapped up in tin and flannel
- Half a pint of woad per man’ll
- Clothe us more than these.
- Saxons used to waste their stitches
- Building beds for bugs in britches
- We have woad to clothe us which is
- Not a nest for fleas
- Romans keep your armours.
- Saxons your pyjamas.
- Hairy coats were meant for goats,
- Gorillas, yaks, retriever dogs and llamas.
- Tramp up Snowdon with your woad on,
- Never mind if you get rained or snowed on
- Never need a button sewed on.
- Woad for us today.
- Thanks for stopping by to read my page. I hope you’ll choose Woad and Sustainability, too.