behind the scenes: hand-dyed tea towels

Things that are tactile, soft to the touch, amazingly textured and/or beautifully colored.  These kind of things make me ooh and ahh over them.  They're my happy place.  Lots of stitches, a fine weave..  Honestly, guys, I swoon over fabric just as much as paper. 

I love being able to dye fabric - either by mixing dyes or using natural materials - because the process is it's own kind of magic.

One of my goals with hello, bird. is to make beautiful details - for special events and for the every day.  I love being a part of celebrating people's life moments, and love when those pieces are able to live after the moment- to stretch into your every day.   Being able to combine that idea with doing things that I love-- that's another special kind of magic.  So, with all that out there- it's an understatement that I was pretty thrilled when Maggie had a really fun idea for favors for her bridal shower. 

 hand dyed fabric from hello, bird.  

Maggie is one of the most amazing people I know.  She's incredibly creative, kind-hearted + has a great sense of humor.  She also has really great style.  When I think of Maggie, I think of warmth- and neutrals, and fringe.. (Ok, I could keep going, but.. let's not get too crazy with this compliment-fest.. haha!)  

Anyway, Maggie loves textiles + neutrals as much as I do.  She was thinking of some kind of tea towel with hand-painted names.  How to make something like that be more Maggie's style?  Neutral colored dyes.  Something soft and muted, minimal and uneven dye patterns, and a really cool weave.  Brush calligraphy in white for soft edges and a small contrast.  

 hand-dyed fabric in progress from hello, bird.  
 hand-dyed fabric from hello, bird.  

I loved dying these towels in a few small batches.  The weave structure is slightly open, and the cotton is incredibly delicate- giving the tea towels an almost sheer quality.  Another fun fact?  These are HUGE- slightly over 24" square.  They're a statement piece- but a really quiet statement piece.  (We did skip a fringe trim..)  

 hand-dyed fabric from  hello, bird.   // hand-made flower pot by  heypace ceramics  // photo courtesy of  Maggie Farrell

hand-dyed fabric from hello, bird.  // hand-made flower pot by heypace ceramics // photo courtesy of Maggie Farrell

(And did I mention Maggie's great style?)  I'm obsessed with how Maggie set up place settings for her shower with those gorgeous plates + that swoon-worthy mother-of-pearl flatware.  I'm pretty sure she made the fringe chargers herself.  Each guest received their own hand-dyed tea-towel and handmade ceramic planter with a succulent.  Yes, please.  Thanks again for letting me be a tiny part of your day, Maggie!