Natural Dyes

What do you use to dye your yarn?

I responsibly forage goodies from nature like flowers, acorns, sumac and black walnut husks that grow in my area. I also use kitchen scraps like red and yellow onion skins and avocado stones and peels that I pick up at a local farm and sushi restaurant. All the exotic roots, barks and pigments I use come from international small businesses that grow and gather these dyestuff responsibly and sustainably.

Are natural dyes better for the environment?

It depends on how you do things.  My goal is to go as green as possible: I generally use locally sourced or grown dyestuff to reduce my carbon footprint.  I'm proud to be zero-waste as all my leftovers go into the compost bin. I can use and reuse a dye bath up to 3 times to save on water consumption. I plan on buying a rain water collector in the spring.

Will the colors fade? Will they bleed?

Just like your favorite band t-shirt, both synthetic and natural dyes will fade a little over time.  And just like a pair of brand new jeans, some colors might bleed (when excess color is released into the water) when you first soak your knits, especially if the color is very saturated.  I thoroughly rinse and wash and rinse again every hank, so do contact me if you have questions or concerns about color.  Avoid direct sunlight, store in an air-tight container during warmer seasons and follow the care instructions for washing, it's the safest way to ensure colors will stay true longer.

How do I care for my naturally dyed yarns?

Hand washing is paramount. Use a bit of pH neutral gentle wool wash in cool or even cold water and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. Avoid vinegar or salt or any homemade recipes to "lock in" color, they might work well with synthetic dyes but they could alter natural dyes. Rinse in cool water and lay flat to dry.  Kindly contact me if you have any questions regarding caring for your naturally dyed woolen items.

Can I reorder the same color in the next shop update?

Natural dyeing is like nature itself, it's ever-changing.  I strongly suggest ordering enough of the color you want for your project when it's available.  Due to the seasonal quality of certain dyestuff I use, some colors can only be produced at a specific time of year.  And since I dye in small batches, the same color might be slightly different from one lot to the next.  For these same reasons, I do not offer pre-orders or take custom orders.