Natural indigo

A dap of natural dye

For its 2021 collection, Marimekko unveiled its very first products printed with natural dye. The launch is the culmination of an innovative collaboration on plant-based dyes with fellow Finnish company, Natural Indigo Finland.

Ancient indigo
The first dye to arise from the partnership is a vibrant indigo blue. The popping shade is naturally derived from the woad plant also known as dyer’s woad that thrives in hot climates across Asia, Southern Europe and North America. Although woad has been used to dye fabrics for millennia, this is the first time it’s utilized on an industrial scale. Natural Indigo has also experimented with other dyes from various industry by-products, such as onion skins.

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The development work continues

Natural dye is just one area where Marimekko seeks to develop its products and ways of working. And this breakthrough is proof that it's possible to find alternatives to many conventional substances. Other important focus areas evolve around product materials, packaging, and transport to name a few.

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sustainability at Marimekko

Testing the dyes

Testing the dyes

Marimekko and Natural Indigo Finland started their collaboration on natural dyes in 2019. Along the way, the Marimekko printing factory in Helsinki has been used in testing among other things the use quality and color fastness of different dyes. Using natural dyes also demands innovative thinking about pattern design and coloring techniques as they often appear differently on fabric than traditional dye.