June 14, 2019 5 min read

Hand dyed yarn

Our hand dyed yarn and other fabrics including cotton, cotton and silk blends and linen are available in our yarn store, and all 100% natural fibre. Our hand dyed yarns are either Welsh wool or UK fleece. We are an official supporter of the worldwide Campaign for Wool and by buying locally when we can, we support our UK sheep farmers. Our yarn and fabrics are a renewable, sustainable, biodegradable and an environmentally friendly product.

Natural Dyes

We hand dye only with 100% natural dyes at the FelinFach Dye Studio - we do not use synthetic or dye colours. 

Hand dyed yarn UK, available in our yarn store and shop - Dyed with 100% natural dye colours

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. 

Hand dyed yarn with 100% natural dyes - Yak Yarn Hand dyed yarn with 100% natural dyes - Bluefaced Leicester sock yarn Hand dyed yarn with 100% natural dyes - Bluefaced Leicester Gotland yarn

Our interest in hand dyed yarn and knitting with hand dyed yarn in particular 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 we tried the natural dyes, once we had we were 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 we believe this is a part of the charm in using natural dye - never quite knowing what the results will be and usually being pleasantly surprised!

Natural Dye Workshops

Learn or develop your skills in our FelinFach Dye Studio. Located in the north Pembrokeshire countryside, our hands-on natural dye workshops are held in a purpose designed Dye Studio. All the yarn and scarves for sale on this website have been hand dyed with natural dyes by the Tutor of these Workshops -Hand Dyed Yarn -Hand Dyed Scarves.

Our workshops are led by an experienced tutor in hand dyeing with natural dyes. As featured in The Knitter, the article is in the series on Artisan Yarn makers and explores our processes for hand dyeing yarns with natural dyes and also our natural dyeing workshops. The Knitter comments, "Taking inspiration from the landscapes of the Pembrokeshire coastline, Karen Morgan of FelinFach produces gorgeous, natural hand-dyed yarns". It also states, "Our favourite yarns this month include beautiful hand-dyed treats and luxurious fibre blends" including the Hydref (Autumn) range by FelinFach". All our workshops are available in our Yarn Store.

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 we 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. We 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

We dye in small numbers to ensure quality of dye uptake and to try and ensure a consistent colour between skeins. 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. 

It takes time, knowledge and patience but we love what we are able to do at the Dye Studio and hope that this comes through in the yarns. Hand dyed yarn colours, dyed with natural dyes may be repeated but they can never be exactly the same - part of the beauty of a handmade product!

We have a selection of 4 Ply, Aran, DK/Worsted and Lace hand dyed yarn available in 50 gram or 100 gram skeins and also in a undyed yarns for hand dying. 

Hand dyed yarn with 100% natural dyes, available in our yarn store and shop - no synthetic dyes colours used

This is a hand-crafted product and therefore it is possible for there to be shade differences between skeins. It is recommended to alternate the skeins every few rows to avoid striping of colour or shade. Normal care should be given to avoid felting and stretching of the yarn.

It is also recommended that all yarn be hand washed with a pH neutral detergent in cool water with least agitation. Natural dye can be pH sensitive which means due to the acidity or alkalinity in some normal detergents the yarn colour would be modified or changed. This is also why you should never rinse naturally dyed yarn or fabric with vinegar, mistakenly believed as a way of fixing colour as this would also bring about a colour change.

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. We believe this only adds to the charm of natural dye as the colours become softer. However, if you store our yarn, fibre or fabric in a sunny, south facing window or under a high-intensity lamp then we cannot guarantee the colours will remain true.

Yarn Bowls

Our unique yarn bowls feature our distinctive and much loved leather handles. The bowls are available in ceramic or Welsh Beech to the FelinFach design. All are individually hand made.  Once complete, the leather handles are made and finished by hand at the FelinFach studio. We use traditional, vegetable tanned leather sourced within the UK. 

About FelinFach

Our company, FelinFach Natural Textiles is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath. We design Welsh blankets and the iconic Welsh Tapestry blankets which are traditionally woven at Welsh mills. We also design and make natural hand dyed yarn, cotton, silk and wool scarves and other handmade products, all available in our yarn store and shop. We also offer Welsh tartansSheepskin Rugs, Gift Cards and tools and books for crafters and knitters - Cocoknits, Laine, Amirisu and Making to name a few! Lastly, craft courses on hand dyeing with 100% natural dyes in the purpose designed FelinFach Dye Studio. We are a proud supporter of the Campaign for Wool, All Things Wales and Global Welsh.

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Last update 16th November 2021