Juniper Ridge X Jungmaven High Desert Tees

Soaking Creosote bush for the dye bath
Soaking Creosote bush for the dye bath

Juniper Ridge transforms the intangible wilderness into perfume. I work in our Oakland workshop distillery among a sharp group of fragrant women and men. Jungmaven is a hemp knitwear brand based in Los Angeles working to promote industrial hemp production that would reduce cotton growth that’s detrimental to the environment.

Jungmaven founder, Rob Jungmann and Juniper Ridge founder, Hall Newbegin, have been friends for a while. Two parts of a small network of west coast sustainable apparel and fragrance brands. I wouldn’t be surprised to find either one comfortably asleep on the beach or under a California redwood. They travel light and feel at home when they’re on the road, outdoors and sharing ideas.

We spent 3 days together in February at Desert & Denim where I discovered the potent dye potential of one of our perfume ingredients, Creosote Bush. I used it in my dye workshops during the show to the delight of the crowd.

Photo by Skyler Greene
Creosote dye bath at Desert & Denim, photo by Skyler Greene

It was Jessica Arkenstone, Juniper Ridge Marketing Director, and Jordan Vouga, our Art Director, who dreamt up the High Desert Tee. The project was underway with the return of the wildcrafting team with bushels of Creosote Bush. I transformed the Juniper Ridge loading bay into a small dye house for 2 weeks, sampling prototypes with various mordants. We settled on a worn desert green and celebrated the painted dye pattern.

Jordan sporting the High Desert Tee on his roadtrip across the desert
Jordan sporting the High Desert Tee on his roadtrip across the desert

The project is featured in Trail Notes, Juniper Ridge’s blog. Here’s an excerpt from my interview with chief storyteller, Obi Kaufmann.

When asked about the relationship between wilderness perfume and natural plant dyes, Celine says, “I remember talking to Joshua Tree locals – people who grew up there. They explained that the scent of Creosote is their memory of rain. When it rains, the steam carries creosote oils into the wind creating a potent musk. Only after experiencing rain in another landscape did their memory of Joshua Tree rain become meaningful. Scent doesn’t come in a singular form. It exists in the air, in perfume and (now) the fibers of our clothing.

“Scent doesn’t come in a singular form. It exists in the air, in perfume and (now) the fibers of our clothing.”

There’s no way to ensure consistency with natural plant dyes without chemicals. That’s why they’re so lovely. Each bath is the discovery of a plant’s life cycle and subsequently a new journey. Isn’t that what we’re all striving for? Carving out a unique story with plant dyes is exactly what Juniper Ridge does with harvest stories. No two batches are the same, each reflects a specific time and place.

Wanna check out the High Desert Tee? Click here to shop Juniper Ridge Field Labs.

Juniper Ridge X Jungmaven High Desert Tees

4 thoughts on “Juniper Ridge X Jungmaven High Desert Tees

  1. Hayleyhaspel says:

    Hi, I’m a bit of a novice. Is the bush you are referring to the one with the little yellow/black beetle that lives in it’s spittle? If so what do you do about that and you speak frequently about mordants. Do you mind sharing which ones? I’m using alum, vinegar, rust and a cast iron pot. I live in San Diego county and forage from the mountains to the beach. Love your name! Love your work! Love your gentle way of sharing.🌻


    1. Hi Hayley, I still consider myself a novice 🙂 Creosote is a bush but I’m not familiar with the beetle. Do you have a photo? There are many insects and desert creatures who consider Creosote bush a safe haven and sometimes a food source.

      I usually set plants outside after harvest but before prepping the bath, giving inhabitants time to scurry away.

      For mordants I usually use alum, iron and vinegar as modifiers. It depends on the pH of the water and the color I’m trying to achieve. If you are always using a cast iron pot, you will get darker colors. Iron typically “saddens” colors and your cast iron pot can do that whether you add additional iron or not. Do you have an old steel pot to use for dyeing? You can run an experiment on the effect your iron pot has on your baths.

      I love foraging in California. I’m not as familiar with San Diego- what are some great finds? ❤


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