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February 06, 2019 3 min read

Hand dyed yarn

Our hand dyed yarn is 100% natural fibre, its renewable and biodegradeable, and includes Welsh yarn and British yarn. We also hand dye the following wool and fabrics, alpaca, mohair, goat, linen and silk. Our yarns are either Welsh or UK fleece and sourced from farms or smallholdings local to us in Pembrokeshire or the UK.

Hand dyed yarn

We only use yarn of the highest quality which we then hand dye and hand finish using water from springs at our Mill for the final wash and rinse. We are an official supporter of the worldwide Campaign for Wool and by buying locally, we are supporting our sheep farmers.

Our interest in hand dyed yarn stems from not being able to find the right yarn for the project in the right colour, tone or shade. Once you have that colour in your head or ‘ideas’ journal it is hard to let it go. My journey began using acid dyes – not as bad as it sounds these dyes need an acidic ingredient to bind to the yarn or fabric e.g. vinegar. Out of curiosity I tried the natural dyes, once I had I was hooked.  Whilst the synthetic dyes are easier and definitely less time consuming to use the colours achieved using natural dye make it so worthwhile. There is a beauty and depth of colour to natural dyes that become even more beautiful with age. We use only natural dyes in our process Indigo, Madder, Weld, etc and our fixing agent is Alum, a nontoxic water-soluble metallic salt that has many different uses in day-to-day life.

The difficulty in obtaining consistency between dye baths can be an issue but I think this is a part of the charm in using natural dye - never quite knowing what the results will be and usually being pleasantly surprised!

Botanical Plant-Based Natural Dyes

A natural progression from dyeing yarn was to dye, block and screen print my fabric. This is definitely a labour of love and patience! To convert dye extract into ink or paint at the correct consistency and the patience needed waiting for the fabric to cure before you can see the result is not one of my strong points but for the most part well worth the wait. Indigo vat is a process all its own also worthwhile for the results can be stunning and I don’t need to wait too long! 

As everyone will know the art of natural dyeing has been in use for centuries and it was only about 150 years ago that synthetic dyes became dominant.  I use the traditional dyes of madder, indigo, cutch, lac,logwood and natural mordants Alum, tannins Myrobalan or oak.No natural dye is 100% resistant to fading (the same is also true of some synthetic dyes) Under normal use, care and wear any fading would only be visible over a long period of time. I think this only adds to the charm of natural dye as the colours become softer.

Hand Dyed Yarn - A Crafted Wool Product

Although acid dyes is the most popular method to dye wool or fabric, hand dyed yarn, dyed with natural plant-based dyes remains a hand crafted product, sometimes unique but always never mass produced.

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