Land & People | Interventions

From Field to Skin

ash alberg


ash alberg is a queer femme and fibre witch who seeks to create beautiful and practical items using sustainable methods. equally importantly, they seek to nurture the skills, knowledge, and creativity of fellow fibre witches to achieve their goals. 


From field to skin was born out of a lack of resources and networking options. through it and an increased focus on local colour palettes found in northern fibresheds (primarily pembina fibreshed), my personal dyeing practice has separated from my commercial dyeing business. to accomplish this, i have had to turn to plant identification books, historical accounts of plant use across turtle island, and chemistry to study the differences between local plants frequently overlooked as dye sources. in this paper i will examine the environmental and social impacts of having to rely early on on imported materials, as well as the linked impacts of entering an industry which focuses so heavily on a few dye sources for the commercial definition of “colourfastness” over studying local colour palettes. i will also examine how my ancestral lineage impacts my personal responsibility as an ethical forager on treaty lands.

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