I am always impressed by small businesses who concentrate on making beautiful products, simply and well. Folk Fibers is one such company and they make exquisite quilts, all stitched entirely by hand and coloured using natural dyes.
Maura Grace Ambrose founded the company in Austin, Texas. She organically grows, harvests, and forages for natural dyes in the local area, focusing on substantive or direct dyes, such as indigo, cochineal, walnut hulls, and onion skins. "I favour substantive dyes because colourfast fabrics are achieved without the aid of chemical additives, known as a mordants. Without the need for mordants the dying process becomes simplified and enjoyable, as well as kind to the environment."
Often Maura patchworks the dyed fabric together with other materials, both vintage and new. She is committed to using 100% natural fibres and chooses solid colours for their timeless appeal. Personally I think the indigo wholecloth designs with white shashiko stitching above, are some of the most beautiful quilts I have seen. As Maura explains, "my passion for quilting is rooted in the love and beauty achieved from hand stitching. The art of hand quilting does take more time, but the results are greater and more valuable than a manufactured quilt." Each finished piece also comes in a handmade cedar box, which is almost (but not quite!) as good as the completed quilts themselves.