Introducing the Patina Collection – new hand dyed silk ribbons

Bias cut habotai silk ribbon hand dyed by Kate Cullen

Introducing the Patina Collection – new hand dyed silk ribbons

Today I’m excited (and a little nervous) to introduce a new concept range of hand dyed silk ribbons. I have been developing these for some time, trying to get the patina look I wanted just right. As many of you know I was an archaeologist in a former career, and have been fascinated by the passage of time ever since I was very small.

I adore the rich patinas objects and surfaces accrue over time and I wanted to represent these in my new collection of ribbons. These ones feel particularly personal, like small works of art, a little insight into the things that really make me, me. 


These bright greens and yellows are abundant in the arboretum near where I live, and I just love the colours and textures the different plants exude.


The rich oranges and browns can seem quite autumnal, and I as accustomed to retrieving many ancient (and some not so ancient!) iron objects out of the ground. Some so corroded only an x-ray revealed what lied beneath the rust.


I actually prefer the vibrant turquoises and blues against the warm rosy copper shades than just the copper on its own. Somehow the passage of time gives an object life, a sense of history even just from its appearance, you need know nothing of its past in some ways to appreciate it.

Patina can come to appreciated for its beauty in the same way the original object was – that circle really resonates with me – the beauty within and without. The original object still hidden beneath, with its own story hinted at in the rust or verdigris. I like to wonder at the stories objects could tell….

Shop the Collection

Dyeing with flower petals tutorial

Eco dyeing a silk scarf using leftover flower petals

Dyeing with flower petals tutorial

Dyeing with flower petals is a fun way to use up waste from floristry or from your garden. This week I popped over to the very lovely Acacia Floristry in Malmesbury (a fabulous florist, Jodie always has something unique and beautiful for you, be it for the home or wedding or event). Jodie had diligently kept all her flower petal waste in a bucket for me to collect to do this little experiment.


Normally make my own plant dyes using one type, but this time I wanted to achieve a delicate print effect rather than an overall dye so in the bucket were hyacinths, delphiniums, forsythia and magnolia petals. In hindsight having not dyed with any of these flowers before I should have done individual tests first, but to be honest I was just too excited to try it out!


It’s a pretty simple method which anyone can follow, but it does have very varying results so don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t turn out exactly the way you envision first time. The more you practice the more you start to understand how different plants work, and part of the fun is not knowing exactly what you’ll produce!


You’ll need: fabric (we used a silk scarf, but cotton fabrics will work too), string, vinegar, water, flower petals, hob ring, saucepan and colander.

Pre-soak your fabric in 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water over night.

Collect all your flower petals – they can dry out a bit or be fresh, but try to avoid browning ones.


Lay out your fabric flat and add your petals all over. You can add them in patterns if you like.


Roll up your fabric starting at one end. Keep it as tight as possible.

Once you have your sausage shape tie it with string in a few places to stop it unrolling.



Place in a colander over a saucepan of boiling water for one hour (be very careful not to let the saucepan boil dry).


Allow to cool in the fridge in a ziplock freezer bag over night – the longer you leave it the more vibrant the colours will be.

Unroll and discard the petals.

Gently hand wash to remove any flower residue.


You should see a delicate pattern of the petals imprinted on a background of whatever flower happened to be the dominant shade. Some flowers will have stronger dyeing capabilities than others. Ours turned out a fresh pale green/yellow shade with soft blue smudges from the delphiniums. It’s fascinating how the different colours are produced, and so many turn out completely different to what you might imagine.


If you give this a try at home I’d love to hear from you!


Styling & Photography by Kate Cullen

Flowers from Acacia Floristry

Simplicity Collection – my new hand dyed silk ribbon range

Hand dyed silk ribbon by Kate Cullen

Simplicity Collection – my new hand dyed silk ribbon range


The Simplicity Collection is my new range of bias cut, hand dyed, habotai silk ribbons. These ribbons are borne out of my love for textures and raw materials, and are reflected in their names. Whilst I am addicted to colour, this year I have felt a yearning for a more pared back look – ribbons that compliment the amazing stationery and floristry works they adorn, rather than overwhelm. 


Simplicity Collection – Chalk

I often get asked for a classic white shade, and so I wanted to offer something that would compliment any other wedding decor. Chalk is simplicity at its best.

Simplicity Collection - Parchment hand dyed silk ribbon by Kate Cullen

From left to right: Parchment, Chalk, Clay, Oyster
Simplicity Collection – Parchment

I am a huge fan of handmade and textured papers, and wanted to include a yellowy shade that will go perfectly with the unbleached paper stocks that I adore.

Left: Parchment; Right: Chalk
Simplicity Collection – Oyster

People are always searching for that perfect nude shade – a neutral colour that is warm and romantic – and I’m in love with this one – it will go perfectly with any pastel florals or stationery I think.

Perfect nude shade of silk ribbon for wedding flowers or stationery

Left: Oyster; Right Chalk
Simplicity Collection – Clay

Pale grey continues to be a popular colour choice for weddings – and it’s easy to see why. It is elegant and timeless and goes with so many colour ways. I also have an addiction to handmade ceramics at the moment and wanted to have a nod to this wonderful raw material here.

Pale grey hand dyed silk ribbon

Pictured: Clay

Styling flat lays with my silk ribbons (and here gorgeous stationery from Laura Elizabeth Patrick) is one of my most rewarding parts of my job. I adore putting colours and textures together to create visual stories of both my own and others’ work. If you’d like me to style your products please do get in touch.

You can learn more about my full editorial styling here too if you’re looking for more in depth portrayals of your products or services, including creating narratives for publication submissions.

Photography & Styling: Kate Cullen
Calligraphy: Laura Elizabeth Patrick

You can do anything but not everything – life changes

Styled shoots for your brand

You can do anything but not everything – life changes

As the saying goes, you can do anything but not everything. The last few months have been an exciting and challenging time for me – I started up the Fine Art Wedding Boutique which launched in September and its sister site Nurture this month – a wedding industry umbrella support site. Both have become far more established and busy than I really anticipated at this stage – for which I’m grateful and thrilled. However, to do these, and my own silk textiles business justice, I don’t feel I can continue to offer the standard of wedding styling services that my clients deserve. So as of now I will no longer be taking on any new couples for wedding styling.


This has been a very hard decision – I genuinely love working with my couples and am always inspired and humbled by the work I have been able to do over the last 7 years. But the time has come to make the change, both for myself and my family, and the Boutique family.


Styled shoots for your brand

Photo: Bowtie & Belle Photography


I will still be offering my editorial styling, and have given some more details on this here – I will be taking on a limited number of clients per year and am really excited to take this part of my business further as I am passionate about the wedding industry and its wonderful suppliers. Whilst it is always something I have done when asked, I am now establishing these services on a proper footing and would be delighted to discuss how I can help you with your brand story through beautiful styled shoots and submissions. Just get in touch!


Hand dyed silk ribbon in the UK by Kate Cullen


Of course I will also be continuing to make my hand dyed silk ribbons and table linens – with my styling bundles coming to the fore – creating new colour ways and putting textures together is one of my true delights in business – it will be wonderful to have some more time to spend on these – both for weddings and for wedding businesses.


Thank you for reading – I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2017 will bring.


Maree and Dan – a Spring wedding in the Cotswolds

Yellow and white and green Cotswolds wedding

Maree and Dan – a Spring wedding in the Cotswolds

As I head towards my last wedding styling of the year in a few days, I am delighted to have received the images from one of my first – that of Maree and Dan at the beautiful, newly refurbished Lower Slaughter Manor in April. This wedding was a joy to work on from start to finish – despite not meeting the couple in person until the actual day of the wedding! We started planning and designing the wedding over Skype and phone last year as Maree and Dan flitted around the globe from Seoul to Dubai (ending up in Yorkshire!). Despite not being in the same room I immediately clicked with this laid back couple of trusted me with their ideas and let me run with it.

Navy and yellow wedding styling by Kate Cullen


My first port of call was Jodie at Acacia – I knew her love for bohemian, wild and interesting blooms was exactly the style that Maree envisaged for her bouquet (along with some of my silk ribbons), plus the colour schemes of yellows and navy were always going to be a colour choice that Jodie would adore creating something special for. The bouquet and floral crowns met with adoration from Maree on the day, and the table centrepieces reflected the overall scheme to perfection.

Yellow and white bouquetYellow and white and gold wedding tablescapeWhite and yellow Spring bouqet

With the weather looking a little unpredictable we opted for some bright brollies just in case! They came in handy for the short walk between the church and the Manor.

Yellow wedding umbrellas for a spring weddingYellow and white and green Cotswolds weddingWedding umbrellas

With plenty of tealights and candlesticks (I cannot ever get enough of candlelight!) and the stationery made by a friend, the whole look came together seamlessly with the new stunning décor at the Manor (a bit of a challenge as it only reopened a short whole before their wedding!).

Candlelight wedding styling by Kate Cullen gold votives and candlesticks wedding styling

I will miss working with this gorgeous pair – wishing them every happiness together as they start their new adventures back in England.

Boho wedding styling by Kate Cullen at Lower Slaughter Manor Boho yellow and navy wedding bouquet and flower crown Long sleeve lace wedding dress with low back

Venue: Lower Slaughter Manor

Floral designs: Acacia Floristry

Photographer: Joe Dodsworth

Vintage candlesticks and votives: Vintage Gold China

New website, new look, new products

Hand dyed silk ribbons from the Metallics Collection in the Fine Art Wedding Boutique

New website, new look, new products

Welcome! Thank you for stopping by my new website. I’m thrilled with it and it is a testament to the hard work of the fabulous husband and wife team that is Gemma Milly and Tom Gyr. There are no ends to the talents of this pair (literally.. check out their work!).

So, there are some obvious changes – I have stripped back a lot of my services this year – due in part to refining my own style and finding the essence of what drives me in my work, and partly to alleviate some of the workload as I start my new venture – the Fine Art Wedding Boutique – launching this week on Friday (please do pop over and take a little look around whether you’re a bride, groom, or wedding industry supplier).

Metallics collection silk ribbon available exclusively in the Fione Art Wedding Boutique
Credit: Bowtie & Belle Photography

I love creating and so there will be some  new additions to the shop soon. I will also be making some limited edition bundles every couple of weeks and listing them in the shop – do sign up to my newsletter (bottom of the page) to get first notice of when these go live as I anticipate they will go fairly quickly! This is simply because I love messing around with colours – I’m addicted to hand dying and painting ribbons and table linens and am driven by the season’s hues, although there will no doubt be some surprises in there somewhere as I do love experimenting with new pigments and paints and this doesn’t always go quite the way I planned! Bespoke orders will now only be taken for orders of 16m (ie a bundle) or more. I’m sorry to have to raise my minimum amount but hopefully with the limited edition bundles there will always be something for everyone.

I will be taking on a very limited number of weddings next year – I have adored working with my couples in 2016, but in order to provide the high quality service I want to I need to be more firm with myself on the numbers I take on. I still have a couple of spots left for 2016 however so please do get I touch if I can help you designing and styling your wedding.

Wedding styling at Elmore Court
Credit: Laura Power Photography

Wedding styling by Kate Cullen at Elmore Court

So, I won’t bore you any further with my inner thoughts! Please take a lovely look around the new site – I’d love to know what you think!