Jiarui Gu

Botanical Dying Project--Textile Cup Cover

Class of: 2023

Major: Fashion Design BFA

Medium: Cloth

Faculty: Michelle Lee

Prompt: This is a project to explore the idea of sustainability and how to make normal things to be environmentally friendly by experiencing and experimenting with the botanical dying technique.

When I think about sustainability, I think everyone can start by doing a small environmental thing to reduce pollution in the world. In this project, we avoid using chemical materials that produce too many pollutions but trying the botanical dying to make some practicable products. In my work, I would like to change paper cup covers into textile cup covers. People can utilize them many times and do not need to throw paper cup covers after they buy each cup of coffee in the shop. For the appearance, I hope it can not only have bright colors that can deliver the mood of happiness to customers but also it can spread Chinese elements from colors visually. Red, yellow, blue, and purple are colors we can always see complex Chinese traditional garments. So I used golden wood, mulberries, blueberries, lotus seeds, and purple cabbage to experiment with colors. Colors have variations by adding different mordants and assists. In my final piece, I chose three colors that  t with Chinese feeling the most to be my main color tone. In order to combine these bright colors in one piece well, I tried weaving which is also a traditional technique to make the final cup cover demo out. It is a good chance to learn and explore the connection between nature and arts, to experience the fun of dying.