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Find Your Sense of Place

Find Your Sense of Place

Local Dialect helps you cultivate your sense of place, so you can move forward with your true purpose in life. Belonging is integral to finding one’s personal identity, and belonging can mean much more than a social group.

Inspiration awaits in the blog and shop. In the blog, find ideas on connecting with place. Explore natural color, your own deep-rooted interests, and the landscape surrounding you. In the shop, discover hard-to-find, artisan-made products created with locally sourced materials. Find your sense of place where you are today. Feel good about what you are wearing and where you live. 

You can begin now. Start in small but powerful ways. Wear naturally dyed clothes. You can find them in the shop, or make them yourself. Try designing a home garden that fits you and your family. Consider what your true interests really are—and begin to act on them. Even learn to source natural dye plants from your landscape and make your own place based clothing and home accessories. Discover ways you can live in harmony with your current surroundings, including the land itself, and the season you are experiencing. 

Naturally Dyed Clothing and Accessories

Local Dialect is a Northern California Fibershed artisan producer. All clothing and accessories in the shop are carefully hand dyed with plant and mushroom dyes. My naturally dyed garments feature plant-based color that promotes health and wellness for both the wearer and the land it comes from. Plant-based color palettes are naturally harmonious and neutral. The surprising colors glow — sometimes with subtle secondary color — allowing the innate beauty of the wearer to come through.

Natural color is very special, it has much more depth to it than synthetic dye can achieve. Sometimes I’ll take a photo of a garment I’ve dyed green and it photographs purple instead. This is caused by the way the light reflects and what the camera can perceive. You may have a dominant color, but within a natural dye, there are many secondary colors that enhance the dominant hue and give it its depth.

natural dyes

Each garment is made in very limited quantities. Each has a story to tell. And each garment reminds us of the traditional, sustainable processes that make us human and connect us to the rest of the world.

Fashion as Sense of Place

“In the past, textiles referenced our places of origin. Localized regions around the world had particular colors or textile patterns based on their local plants, fibers and traditions. Fashion functioned as a sense of place. In some ways, ‘wear’ and ‘where’ meant the same thing in botany’s local dialect.” —Karen Hess

Local Dialect Origins

Local Dialect was founded in 2015. It began as a project which desired to translate the language of the land into color. Originally, I accomplished this by writing a blog beginning in 2006, which reflected on the unique beauties and mysteries of our local landscape. I had a vision of Local Dialect becoming an online source of inspiration for finding sense of place, beginning with my own.

In 2015, I began an online clothing and textile shop. The shop reflected my appreciation of the natural world, and was also a collaboration with the plants of the Sonoma and Marin area in California. The land in the San Francisco North Bay offers up a detailed language, transmitted through plants and mushrooms in natural dye color.