At Citizen Women, we love to work with other creatives.
For this project Reimagining Fabric, we invited textile designer Julie Maclean to collaborate with us to make a limited edition of hand-painted and dyed Citizen Women linen and silk shirts.
A recent returnee to Aotearoa, New Zealand, Julie is a textile designer who has spent her 20+ year career creating designs for fashion and interiors. Working in London, NYC and now Auckland. Julie has produced designs for many leading global brands such as Anthropologie, DVF, J.Crew and Topshop.
Textile designer Julie Maclean
Treating the linen Capital Shirt as a ready-made blank canvas, and with a colour palette in mind Julie talked us through our design and colour processes. Together we came up with a plan, designing the placement of the colours, the layering and blending of the colours, and the shapes of the brush strokes.
Linen lends itself to being painted. Naturally soft and resilient, it retains its natural oils which keeps the fabric supple. The linen Capital shirts are carefully hand- painted with the dyes, and while the shirts have the colours, orange, pink, and grey placed in the same positions on the shirts, they are not exactly the same. Each garment is unique.
Julie’s knowledge of fabric painting and dyeing, her love of experimentation and her eye for complimentary colours added finesse to the decorative shapes and patterns on the linen shirts. We loved the process and the result.
Silk is hypoallergenic and made from long smooth fibers that are not abrasive to your skin, the smooth texture in silk is known to reduce irritation to the skin. Silk is perfect for dyeing and is well known for its ability to absorb dye producing colour with depth and vibrancy. The silk Charter Top is gently scrunched and shaped then dipped in pink dye followed by a dip in the grey dye. Each top is dipped in the same way, resulting in a similar pattern. Each pattern is slightly different, and each garment is unique.
Julie’s love of fashion and textile crafts was sparked by her mum, a fabric artist. This inspired a lifelong love of traditional textile techniques such as fabric painting, dyeing, tapestry and weaving. In her work Julie finds inspiration in everyday moments: the colours, shapes and patterns that surround us.
For this collaboration with we used two different dyeing processes for the different fabrics.
The silk tops are carefully scrunched and dipped in colour
The linen tops are hand-painted with brushstrokes of dye.
We’ve used fibre reactive dyes which are excellent for small-batch dyeing and painting. Very little dye and water is needed to achieve beautiful colourfast results and keeping the process efficient. The garments are washed after dyeing to remove any unfixed dye.
The results are a graphic-fluid painted look on the linen shirts in orange, pink and grey with a white background and the silk shirts are subtle in shades of pink and grey. Fabric Reimagined, original and delightful.
Citizen Women Charter Top and Capital Shirt