Local, Luxurious Handcrafted Ladies’ Line Appeals to all the Senses

Photo Karen Graham.
Anna Luckai in her garden where she grows ingredients used to infuse her garments with colour and fragrance, creating products which look, feel and smell gorgeous.

Some of you may remember Anna Luckai as a music teacher at Millbrook South Cavan Public School about ten years ago.  She continues to teach but now educates high school students in Port Perry about careers during the fall semester and spends the remaining eight months of the year on her new business designing and creating luxurious garments for women.

A few years ago, Anna took a sabbatical from teaching and spent a year studying Fibre Arts at Fleming’s Haliburton School of Fine Arts.  The experience was cathartic.  One of her instructors was very focused on using traditional methods for dying and treating fibres, and Anna embraced the idea.  She began to experiment with herbs and other plants to gently infuse fabric with colours and scents that are both natural and beautiful.

She first launched a business called IAG, which stands for “It’s All Good”, where she began sewing garments using only Lenzing Tencel fabrics and home-grown plant dyes.  Her business has since evolved to a more personal line of clothing called Sanctuary Innerwear, a name that refers to the fact that the items are worn next to the skin.  This allows a full appreciation for the luxurious feel of the fabric and the custom blend of fragrances from herbs and other plants which provide an aromatherapy session each time an item is worn. The idea is to impart the healing potential of herbs on the body and mind of the person wearing the item.

Always a stickler for detail, Anna uses only certified sustainable Tencel fabric from Austria made from the eucalyptus in her clothing.  Items are dyed in her backyard or basement with her own blend of plants, most of which are harvested from her Pontypool garden and infused with her own hydrosols made of aromatic herbs.

Each garment style is specific in design, colour and fragrance- in other words, each characteristic of the garment is connected.  For example, the bodice and brief style called Peace is a soft rose colour dyed with alkanet root and infused with the fragrance of lavender, elder and chamomile.  The corselette and shortlet known as Joy is dyed yellow with goldenrod and infused with lemon balm, marigold and ginger.  The therapeutic benefits of the plants can calm, energize or warm the body, based on the chemicals found in the plants themselves.  Because the processes are done by hand, colour variations occur making it critical that pieces intended to be worn together are purchased from the same batch.

All items are hand sewn with luxurious details and some are embellished with delicate lace accents or glass beads.  To ensure the fragrance lasts, each item comes with re-infusing spray and whipped soap incorporating the garments’ original scent.

Photo Karen Graham.
Anna Luckai and her handmade garments.

Starting this month, Sanctuary Innerwear will be available Oasis Boutique on King St. in Millbrook, as well as through the company website at www.sanctuaryinnerwear.ca. KG

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