If you open the door to Tuesday Scarves you’ll find owner and founder Rian Robinson crafting away at her windowfront work space. Her sewing machine resides in the right corner of the shop nestled by a rack of freshly dyed kimonos, perfectly situated by the shop’s window to capture sunlight—and the curious eyes of visitors and residents alike in the International District.
When Robinson isn’t experimenting with new dyes in her backroom or mixing and matching scarf patterns in the front, you can find her at a local or West Coast craft fair. Her shop Tuesday Scarves has boothed at highly competitive fairs and markets including the Fremont Market, Urban Craft Uprising, Renegade Craft Fair, West Coast Craft in San Francisco, Unique LA, and various craft fairs in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California.
Although Tuesday Scarves is named after the classic ’50s bombshell actress, Tuesday Weld, the shop’s name came from more practical roots.
“I saw her wearing beautiful scarves and wraps and it’s an easy name to pronounce and spell,” said Robinson with a laugh, “And I didn’t want to put too much pressure on it so I went with my first instinct and that was that.” Tuesday Scarves has been up and running for seven years: five years on Etsy, two years in its International District home, and two more years on the way with the recent signing of a new lease.
A designer, creative, maker, and fourth generation half-Japanese American, Robinson is no stranger to the arts and graduated from the University of Washington in ceramics.
“From ceramics I did a lot of work with glazes and I think there’s a correlation between glazes and fabrics, there’s a science. So it just seemed to be a natural progression,” said Robinson. Her prowess for pattern play led to the creation of Tuesday Scarves with a dedication to finding intriguing fabric, textures, and designs to put together, like fluffy faux fur and woodsy buffalo check to bright polka dots and hypnotic geo prints.
“That’s why I started my business initially, I feel like with accessories it’s a lot easier for Seattlites to add colors as opposed to wearing a lot of color,” said Robinson. “I know we love our gray and black, and I’ve seen a few people branch out! I feel like I’m adding a little bit of color to Seattle, and it’s surprising me that people love it.”
Alongside the shop’s signature scarves, Robinson has added a new kid on the block to the Tuesday Scaves collection: tie-dye kimonos. In the spring of 2016, Robinson began experimenting with tie-dye scraps and scarves; honing in on her personal technique and utilizing the chemistry of the dye.
“Some of my best-selling prints of the dyed fabrics came from the process, of learning along the way, and embracing the mistakes and figuring out how to make them repeatable and beautiful,” said Robinson.
Robinson now has a proud line of brilliantly tie-dyed kimonos and scarves showcasing a range of techniques from cascading ombré on billowing robes to electrifying splatters on structured raw silk. Her wide variety of silhouettes are mindfully designed to be body inclusive (no size tags here) and cut in a way that wastes no fabric.
“Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s not about size, it’s about sizes and having more shapes is a little more inclusive in a way, because you don’t have to put a size on it.” Plus, all of her kimono dyes are environmentally friendly and—for all of you no-fuss folks out there—totally machine washable.
As she pours a batch of dye into a scarf-filled pitcher, Robinson speaks on her tie-dye technique: “It’s not a precise technique. None of the techniques are precise, it’s a little bit organic—and that’s how I’ve always been I think.”
You can contact Rian Robinson and shop Tuesday Scarves at 608 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 or by visiting tuesdayshop.com.