Why Ally sun and Why Natural Fibers?
an intro to all things good
My name is Allysun.
Formerly Allyson, but I wanted my name (often the first thing people learn about me) to reflect the light I aspire to spread each and every day.
First of all, welcome and I’m so glad you are here! I can't wait to share my thoughts with you and hopefully hear what you have to say.
For the first blog post I want to talk about what I plan to do here, why I’m doing it, what I want to get out of it and what I want you to get out of it.
My goal is to begin to build a community around natural dyes, healing garments, medicinal dyes, herbs, alternative medicine, ayurvastra, slow fashion, sustainability, natural fibers, plants, zero waste fashion, love, kindness, and support.
I realllllllllly want to focus on that word community. I want to build it up, manifest it, and make it powerful. I feel it piecing together around me in my physical world but want to extend it to those who I’m not necessarily in contact with in real life, so please please join in the conversations!
I’m doing this as a blog because it’s a great place to get thoughts down. There’s possibility for a podcast or even a book eventually! Who knows?! What do you think? Your world is what you make it! Wee!!
Mostly this is fun for me. It helps me organize myself and my thoughts and do research so I can learn and then share what I’ve learned with you! I really want to help everyone learn a little and become more aware of our earth and the effect we have on it and on ourselves and how we can improve both situations!
For the reader, I want you to be able to engage and ask questions and learn about a topic/topics that are hopefully interesting and empowering. I in no way am a master and I don’t consider myself a teacher but I am learning something new everyday and hope to share, collaborate and continue to learn - with your help!
I believe we need to start taking steps to better this world we live in and honor our mother Earth. She is beautiful and kind and we need to show her the same kindness?
For this first little post, I want to start talking about natural fibers. The base and foundation of everything I create and hope will be an easy starting point for you next time you shop.
Without natural fibers, I’d just be making tea—which would still be really good.
Wool, linen, cotton, silk, and hemp are the ones I mainly use. I use natural fibers for many reasons.
(and most important) they are biodegradable! Cotton, linen and hemp take about 3 months to decompose! Wool and silk take a little bit longer (about a year) this helps with having zero waste and adding to the waste of the fashion industry. Zippers and elastics are the only possible contributors I would use and I do a lot to avoid them, mostly by using knit drawstrings instead.
2. (also very important) natural fibers take natural dyes the best. As a part of the natural world, the natural fibers and natural dyes speak pretty well (with a little help from a mordant (bonder) that atomically creates a common link for the two)
3. Natural fibers are all made from animals and plants so even without dyes they have their own healing properties because they embody the spirit of the plant or animals that grew the fiber.
Wool and Silk are protein fibers. This means they come from animals. Wool comes from alpaca, sheep, goats, and rabbits of which there are many kinds. It is extremely warm and when sourced ethically, the animal is never hurt. Ethical shearing is always done by professionals or the owners who love their friends and have been trained. The animal is usually put in a position that is instinctually relaxing for them (usually on their backs) and have a quick experience. Often the animal needs to be shorn so it doesn’t overheat in warmer months.
I even have my own angora rabbit who gives me loads of the softest wool I’ve ever touched and he’s a pretty good snuggler. Angora fur used to be prescribed by doctors in Europe to heal ailments from headaches to knee pain. The fur is so warm that it works to improve blood flow and increase movement of cells.
Silk comes from the silk worm. Super soft silk is often made from unraveling long strands from the silk worms cocoon. This often involves killing the worm because it’s home is taken away from it. It is very sad but is apart of the world we live in that demoralizes animals and supports fast fashion. Silk can however be collected raw which takes longer but it means that the silk worm gets to eat through it’s little cocoon and evolve into a moth. This means that the strands of silk are a shorter staple length because they have bites taken out of them thus making the process longer because the strands are smaller and take more effort to spin together.
Cotton, linen, and hemp all come from plants. They are cellulose fibers. Cotton is from the cotton plant, Linen is made from a long process starting with the flax plant, a lot of water, soaking, retting, hacking, combing, spinning, and weaving. The hemp process is the same as the linen making process but comes from the marijuana plant. All three create beautiful fabrics. The cotton industry has become very big and often use harsh pesticides to treat the plants. Not only do these chemicals poison the plant and take away it’s healing power but they also harm the person spraying them. That’s why it’s very important to source your fabric and your clothes from wholesome people. The hemp industry is growing and although hemp is usually rougher fabric, it softens with wear and washing and is the most naturally healing fiber of them all.
These are the fibers that I’m familiar with and use most often. I know there are many more less common ones but I truly advise gravitating towards natural fibers instead of synthetic fibers. Even if they’re not dyed with plants, at least they will decompose.
Just going to add a little note about rayon. Not my favorite fiber but it is made from tree pulp, so natural? technically? but I don’t know, it’s always given me a strange feeling. And it doesn’t take dyes as well as the others.
Synthetic fibers are the worst.
They just are.
They pollute the earth, small fibers get washed into our water systems and fish eat them, think they’re full, don’t eat and die, the chemicals used to make them pollute the earth and effect our health and children’s health, and on top of that, they feel icky.
That being said, don’t go throwing out all your clothes that are made from acrylic, polyester, nylon, spandex, or lycra because that would just add to the pollution problem. Converting unwanted clothes into something beautiful is a wonderful creative endeavor. There are some companies that recycle these materials but you can too! Make a rag rug, a bag, make them into dish rags, weave pot holders, make a tablecloth, or a quilt, and keep the natural fibers close to your body (and the natural dyes closest ;) ).