Osei Duro mixes artisan technique and traditional know how with laid back Californian design and we have long been fans of the results. Each and every piece has a story behind it and we love the relaxed vibes but inherently interesting pieces so often accentuated by traditional design features.
Osei Duro aims to support local apparel industries – on both large and small scales – in becoming sustainable. They pay their workers a fair wage and work towards a vibrant fashion industry, one that exceeds international production standards while respecting the rights and aesthetics of local makers.
At Gather&See we are passionate about the sharing the stories behind our brands so we are delighted to explain exactly how Osei Duro's expert team of craftsmen and women use traditional techniques to produce their gorgeous collection.
In the Gonja district of Northern Ghana, indigo dyeing is said to be as old as the place itself. Here, the fresh leaves of the West African Wild Indigo plant known locally as Garra are harvested, pounded with an ashy mordant, and fermented in pits 6-7 feet deep. The dye takes several days to develop and can last anywhere between three days and three weeks before spoiling, depending on the weather. Once ready, local dyers repeatedly dip cotton yarn slated to be woven into garments into the natural dyestuff. The yarn aerates in between dips, transforming the Indigo from a rich green to a vivid blue, and then almost black, as it oxidizes.
The Nima Dress is dyed using Natural Indigo
Batik is a resist technique used for producing designs on cloth. The technique was brought to West Africa in the mid-nineteenth century by Belanda Hitam, Malay for Black Dutchmen, who served as indentured soldiers for the Dutch in Indonesia. Batik motifs are hand-painted or stamped with hot liquid wax, which penetrates the cloth to form a resist. When the hardened wax is dipped in the cold dye bath, small cracks form, producing the fine veins that are synonymous with handcrafted batik.
All Osei-Duro batik prints are created in collaboration with hand-batikers in Ghana.
The Agona Dress printed using Batik method.
The alpaca is a long-haired domesticated South American mammal related to the llama. They live and graze on the level heights of the Andes at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 m (11,500 - 16,000 ft). They are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be beasts of burden but were bred specifically for their fibre.
Alpaca fleece is soft, lustrous and silky and while similar to sheep’s wool, alpaca is warmer, not prickly, and bears lanolin which makes it hypoallergenic.
All Osei-Duro sweaters are made from Peruvian alpaca, by a mother-daughter duo based in the Western Andes of Peru.