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Naturally dyeing to know about Nana Sacko

by Seyi Sokoya |

Nana’s earth tones and stylish cyclical pieces immediately called out to us as we were skimming through Instagram and stumbled across her beautiful page. Her delicately curated items, hand dyed exclusively using natural dyes gave us a reminiscent feeling to the ancient cloth dying that takes place in Yoruba-land South-west Nigeria. Adire in Yoruba translates to “tie and dye” and although traditional adire is indigo and white, we couldn’t help but see similarities. We decided to collaborate on making a limited collection as twist on the traditional adire.

Beyond this collaboration, a beautiful friendship and has been formed, where two creators have come together to share their love and passion and in this process created magic. We find a little bit more about her and her family , her inspirations and the process of making her clothing.

Q - Tell us a bit about yourself?

A - I'm a 36 year old mother of two married to a skater, living the life on the Swedish West Coast. At the moment, I'm on maternity leave from my job within fashion design and in my free time I explore my passion within natural dyeing. I'm often described as an old soul which I think I can agree on!

Q -What sparked your interest in vintage clothing and natural dyeing?

A - Vintage has always been apart of me, my wardrobe and home. Growing up being 4 sisters in a household, our mother often took us around thrift shops to buy our clothes. It became the norm for me when it came to shopping. To me the hunt involved in thrifting makes the experience so much more fun, and I love to look for character and personality within clothing rather than to be presented a “perfect” option. I have a natural talent (if you will) finding unique things in piles and piles of stuff. I’m also a nerd when it comes to textiles and I think there was so many good stuff made back in the days that still meets the standard today.

The combination with dyeing naturally came about when I had my second son. We have a great culture among family and friends always passing down clothing to anyone with younger kids. However second time around having a son he would use the majority of his clothes passed down from his older brother. Some of the garments I simply was tired off and wanted to change. I started to remake a lot of my kids clothes by giving them new color. That led me on to explore more and I started to create patterns with different tie dye techniques, and then I was hooked!

I have a background in textile and working with design so handling and treating fabric came easily. The perfect imperfections never knowing how something would turn out was so exciting and trilling to me and I completely fell in love with creating one-of-a-kinds. Natural dyes is also such slow process which requires a lot of patience, which I don’t have but need to practice- so I guess it became a perfect match for me.

Q -Where does the inspiration for your brand come from?

A - The inspirations has always been my boys and how I have built their wardrobe over time. I’m always drawn to natural materials, earthy tones and minimalistic genderless design and this was what I wanted to reflect when creating my own line. I wanted to use the things I already had around me both when it came to the actual garments but also tools and nature. I was amazed by all the colors you can achieve only by using food scraps for example. Taking care of what’s already here giving new life to it is so beautiful and satisfying to me and I’m eager to find more ways to remake and re-use. There is so many good garments out there which can be up cycled and fit seamlessly into a modern wardrobe.

Q -What encouraged you to share your passion project?

A -`Sacko` is my creative passion project and something I’m doing while on materiality leave - when I have a chance for some “me-time”. I started to share some of my work on instagram, kind of like a visual diary. I got a lot of positive response, encouragement and even people asking if they could buy what I was creating. I could really feel the interest for slow fashion bubble! Since dying truly makes me so happy and gives me so much energy I decided I was going to put some things out for sale, simply to be able to do more of what I love and make it accessible for anyone interested.

Q - Tell us a bit about your process of dying? How do you choose the colours and patterns?

A - It always starts with the fabric. I work with both cellulose and protein fibers and they require different  processes and can give very different color even if using the same plant. I try to understand the fabric simply by touching and pulling to decide how thick it is, what color it would look good in and take up the most, if I want it to be tie dyed or solid and so on. I kind of have a vision going into the dyeing with how I want the finished garment to look. Being too precise measuring, weighing and documenting every single step kind of kills the creativity for me so I always free flow. But being so spontaneous also comes with errors and mistakes which is okey in the small scale I’m doing. Since I’m self taught I also see all of this as a part of learning by doing and trying to find your own unique look. There is so many aspects that effects the actual color when dyeing naturally so being open minded and curious definitely helps.

Q - What makes your pieces special?

A -I believe my pieces are special because they are treated with so much love and care. When you’re creating something yourself you build a relation with whatever you are making. When I clean out our wardrobes at home I always tend to keep the things that has a special meaning to us. Often it is something I made myself or a rare special find I simply can’t let go off. I guess easy comes easy goes! My pieces are often thrift finds that goes through a beautiful process of natural dyeing making them unique in more than one way. Many hours are spent on one garment only and I think this slow process combined with passion is what is appreciated.


  

Q - What was your thought process behind the collaboration with Kamso?

A - Seyi (or you!) was one of the first persons to recognise my work on instagram making a post on stories about it. It truly made me so happy to receive support from another mother and for someone to take their time to put down such beautiful words. 

The collaboration felt so natural from the very start and it has been nothing but good vibes working on this project.

The Kamso Set is the perfect combination of comfortable clothes and beautiful design. The inspiration they are sprung out of (Nigeria) ment so much to Seyi and I really felt like I got the trust to take care of someone’s baby. I wanted to do them justice and this was also my first time working with someone else’s collection but mine. I didn’t want to do anything too distracting, rather to preserve them as they were giving them “birthmarks”. Inspired by red and brown clay I dyed them in a brown almost peachy color creating an all over marble pattern trying to embrace the natural elements as much as possible. For this drop we decided to use reactive pigment dye to meet the quality standard expected from the Kamso customer. I personally love the clash between the clean white tracksuits and the irregular pattern created by tie dye making each piece look different.

To me this collaboration goes beyond this collection. I truly found a friend in Seyi and she is one of the most kind and sweet souls which also comes off in her way of working and what her brand is all about. As much I love to listen to her voice messages in instagram (which is how we have been communicating these past months) I can’t wait to actually meet her face to face one day.

 

Follow Nana Sacko and the Sacko on Instagram: @NanaSacko  and @ShopSacko. Purchase Sacko clothing from www.shopsacko.com

Photo's taken by Highmind Studios on Instagram: @highmindstudios

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