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color given
by nature

for a new perspective towards colors

dyeing with

lead by mother nature

natural dyeing

Hul le Kes its
color perspective

What if we can dye rejected textiles with food waste? That was the start for Hul le Kes to come to its specific way of natural dyeing. During time it has developed itself into a signature of Hul le Kes, avoiding the heavy chemicals used in the fashion industry. On this page you will read more about our dyeing process.

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the beauty
of a stain

Having stains in all of his own clothing, finding stains in so many fabrics and garments we found at our recycling partners; Sjaak Hullekes decided that it would be the best if one would change our general opinion about a stain in our clothing or textiles. Hul le Kes found out that so many fabrics are being discarded due to the smallest stains, which is such a pity and terrible for the environment. We decided to come up with a plan to make sure we could get more textiles into a circular system. That is how Hul le Kes started dyeing with natural ingredients to create beauty out of stains. To get textile back to use and to change our general point of view on stains in our clothes.

At first Hul le Kes dyed with food waste from restaurants only, such as onion peels and avocado seeds. To be able to create more colors we started growing vegetables in our Hul le Kes garden, searching in the nearby park and buying natural ingredients to dye with. By the time we were able to create more colors we started our Dyeing Service, which is now extended with a Dyeing Service for interior textiles.

read more about our circular and sustainable ideas here

coming from

For the natural dyes Hul le Kes uses all kinds of ingredients, such as avocado seeds, onion peels, madder, campeche wood, chestnut, gallnut, walnut, flowers or plant extracts. These ingredients are found in the park, along the streets or the river or in the woods. In other cases they come from restaurants where we collect their waste fully separated. Others are bought and could come from everywhere around the world. Wherever we can we try to use biological ingredients when buying the materials, unfortunately this is not always possible.

We use two types of processes for our natural dyes. One with machine wash for our solid natural dyes. The other, our signature dye, also used for our Dyeing Services, is done in a process of approximately three days. Both ways Hul le Kes gets the color from the ingredients by boiling it in water, these colors are then used to dye the fabrics with. Additives like salt, iron sulfate, baking soda or alum (depending on the plants used to dye with) will help the color attach to the natural fibers of the fabrics. This is the reason it is only possible to dye natural fibers, as polyesters and nylons do not have such fibers to adopt color. After this process the fabrics or clothes will be washed for two times to make sure all excess color and plants are washed out. After some drying the garment will be ready for use.

dyeing is done at our Recovery Studio

Dyeing Services & more


The intensity of the color and its fastness have to do with many factors such as the fiber itself, the weather and the use of additives in the dyeing process. Old fabrics, such as our Antique Linens will keep their color for a longer period of time, while new (often chemically treated) fabrics will fade quicker. No one can exactly tell when your garment will start to fade, this can take months but also years. Fact is that at some point your garment’s color will fade, that is a natural process which cannot, and should not, be influenced by us.

When your garment is fading we advise you to order a Dyeing Service for your garment to dye it back again, or in another color. You may also dye it yourself, because this you can do easily at home. We often give workshops about natural dyeing; our Hul le Kes Dyeing Events. Have a look at its product page to see the upcoming events, or to keep yourself updated.


Did you know it is also possible to do a dyeing workshop with a group? As your birthday party, with your colleagues or with a class. At school, at the office, home or at our Manufacturing Studio or Hul le Kes Privé. Hul le Kes often gives workshops, not only about natural dyeing but also about mending.

We want people to gain knowledge about recovering their own clothes. This way we can collectively help to slow down, or even stop, the growing pile of discarded clothes. Send us an email for more information about a group workshop.

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