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You’ve likely heard the design advice that goes, “A quick way to change up a room is to swap out the accent pillows.” Boulder textile designer Edie Ure would like to (kindly) challenge that notion that pillows are disposable castoffs. They’re things to “really, dearly love,” she says.
Her sensuous pillows (starting at $120) are purely loveable—and touchable—thanks to the silk-velvet covers Ure dyes using flowers and plants that she forages from around Boulder. “I’ll go driving around, screech to a halt, and jump out to pick things,” she laughs. “People give me strange looks.”
The British-born designer came to textile-dyeing after a colorful career in high fashion, during which she created textiles for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren in New York City. But when she and her then-husband relocated to Boulder, where Chacos trump stilettos, she left haute couture behind. Fortuitously, a class in natural dyeing revealed a new path. “I thought, These colors are amazing!” she says. “They’re incredibly soft and beautiful, much more so than anything you can make with chemical dyes.”
Ure soon found herself making plant-dyed textiles for designer collections as well as those luscious pillows, which are sewn together by a local seamstress, then sold to private clients and through local design shops (find them at Cedar & Hyde Mercantile in Boulder and Homebody in Denver). Working from her home studio (aka the open-air space beneath her carport!), the designer develops her dyes by steeping natural materials in water, which is then used to stain the velvet. Avocado pits make blush pink. Daisy flowers yield green. Sagebrush? Yellow. “It’s part chemistry and part trial and error,” says the color enthusiast, who also creates indigo shibori-dyed textiles and aims to soon experiment with naturally dyed wallpapers.
This unpredictability is what Ure loves about her craft. “My pillows are always unique. I very rarely get the same color twice,” she says. Ure hopes that her creations bring the varied beauty of the natural world into people’s homes. “With these pillows, it’s like having this flower, this color, that’s so vibrant and living,” she says. That’s a look well worth keeping.
Follow Edie on Instagram (@edieure_) to see more designs and find out about her plant-dyeing workshops.