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January 22, 2011

The Cooked Shirt

Kean Etro of the same-named Italian fashion house put together quite a charming instructional catalogue on how to customize the brand’s white shirts with ingredients found in the kitchen. Chris from London sent me the link a few days ago and my jaw dropped in amazement.
The “Cooked” Shirt by Kean Etro
My favorite would have to be the shirt stained with blueberries. It harkens back to my elementary school days when I would read about shepherds in the mountains of Europe dyeing their cloaks in wild berry juice simmered in a big black pot for a very long time.
the recipe

The shirt is reborn in the most vivid shade of magenta by way of blueberry juice. The addition of whole fresh blueberries gives it that very intriguing mottle of blue all over.
Chris, who sent me the link, asked for tips on how to set the stains so that they don’t fade in the wash. Ironing or blow-drying the shirt might help, but ultimately, I think the charm in the cooked shirt is that the stain is organic and that fading or discoloration are all part of it being natural. If the stain grows dim, then bake it again in the berries?
The recipe for “Shirt baked in the oven with blueberries” and other dishes (“Shirt dipped in coffee,” “Shirt cooked in salt”) can be found here.
Photos via Etro


  • Brandon
    January 22nd, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Holy crap. I've been waiting for Etro to come out of its Italian shell for quite awhile. I've always seen it as the Italian brother to Paul Smith and what is more Italian than cooking? Bravo Etro, Please more like this! PS Izzy when you move down to NY I envision us trying out a few of these recipes. Salt cooked white jeans?

  • DeS Money
    January 22nd, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Hmmmm…do you think this would possible on a jean jacket? Given that denim has indigo…

  • Izzy
    January 22nd, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    B: Etro, yes, Paul's hermano Italiano. Hmmmm yes salt-cooked ecru jeans with a nice camel wool coat!

    DeS: Yes, because denim is made of cotton, I think these recipes should work. Is your jacket blue denim though, or white? Because if it's a dark denim, color might not show as well as it would on white denim. But I reckon salt-baking blue denim might give it quite an interesting, authentic aged look..

  • Aviator101
    January 23rd, 2011 at 11:19 am

    ahaha (: This is fantastic. I will do that soon.


  • David Toms
    January 23rd, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    It does look brilliant, however should we try this at home??
    Trying a cheaper shirt first

  • South Moon Under
    January 25th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    YUMMY i love blueberrys…and this is totally a cool idea! I can't wait to do this with a white dress!! and tye dye is so in!!!

  • Des
    January 27th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    It's a lighter denim…levi jean jacket. I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes. Thanks Izzy!!

  • AK
    June 29th, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Well natural dying was done for centuries in the middle east, india, and china- this region was huge on textile arts- europe only came on board with these things much later in time! – In any case, if you want to know about natural dyeing , look up the book on it by Harold Boehmer – the problem with a lot of natural dyes is that they need mordants (chemicals). I see using natural dyes as pointless these days unless one wants uneven penetration of the dye in various parts in uneven strengths. Most people prized natural dyes for softer colors that companies upto a few decades ago were not making- but now a days its quite easy to get very good quality dyes in soft colors too!

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