Meet Rachael Levine, a textiles artist with a focus on Shibori and fabric dyeing:
I met this bad ass babe on a group trip to Lake Powell! She's not only a talented artist, but also down-to-earth and adventurous. We both moved here from out of state and love connecting over our transition to Colorado and the different fashion that comes with moving further West. AKA never hearing of the Chaco sandal till moving out here.
Holiday Artisan Gift Box Featured Artist
I’m excited to see where our friendship will take us along with selling her beautiful silk Shibori dyed Fiesta Scrunchies. These scrunchies will be featured in our first holiday artisan gift box you can order this November 2021! Learn more about the launch of the holiday GB.
Under her ARAE brand (pronounced like the word “array”), she works with different kinds of silk and cotton gauze to create her various styles of Kimonos, scarves, and tops. She also works with boiled wool, which she Shibori dyes, then cuts and sews into soft accessories such as gloves, scarves, and hats.
ARAE is sold in many independently owned boutiques and museum shops across the US as well as handmade shows, and online with large retailers such as Artful Home, Uncommon Goods, and Free People. Rachael loves creating pieces of wearable art that allow her customers to express their own creative styles with every wear.
Rachael's Creative Process
What is your inspiration while you're creating or where do you get your inspiration?
"I find inspiration through meditating, taking breaks, traveling, being in nature and out in the world with people. It's very broad but things just come to me when I'm living my life, not usually while I'm working."
What's your favorite song or type of music to jam to while creating?
"Anything upbeat, I listen to a huge range of music from Disco to Latin and any podcast with a good story behind it."
Anything you'd like to share about your creative process?
"People often put Shibori in a box and think it's exclusively Indigo dyeing on cotton. Shibori is actually the Japanese word for a variety of ways of embellishing textiles by shaping cloth and securing it before dyeing. The word comes from the verb root shiboru, "to wring, squeeze, press."
- Rachael Levine
Ethical & Sustainable Practices in Denver, Colorado
Rachael creates each garment and accessory through a process of hand dying, cutting, and sewing. She has a small team of in-studio help for larger production orders. She designs with close consideration to fabric waste, thoughtfully cutting out each piece to limit the amount of fabric left over. Keeping production local and being as sustainable as possible is a high priority for ARAE.
The fabric that is not used in our collection (waste from cutting) is kept and separated by size and color for limited Zero Waste releases such as: Scrunchies, Braided Headbands, and even our Shimmy style. Pieces too small to incorporate are used as stuffing for pillows or given away to other artists.
Unique Desert Dye Process
ARAE is located in the high desert of Colorado, which this means taking advantage of the dry air and hot sun all year long. All of ARAE's silk and wool is hang dried outside by the natural sun and air. This must make for a beautiful back-yard display!
Shop to Support Art Garage Denver
Get your hands on these beautiful eco-friendly scrunchies available in our holiday artisan gift box while supporting the Art Garage of Denver. This is a local nonprofit whose mission is to offer arts-based programs that inspire, empower and promote creative self-expression by people of all ages and backgrounds. On-site studio workshops and exhibitions engage the greater Denver community and outreach is provided to those who are under-served, at-risk and for people with disabilities to ensure the artistic process is fully accessible and inclusive for all.