About My Dye Process

My yarns are like no other! The yarns that are sold in big box stores serve a purpose but did you know they are made with nasty chemicals to make them soft? Formaldehyde is applied with heat, making it trapped in the fiber permanently, and petrochemical polluting dyes, whose production creates nitrous oxide--a greenhouse gas that’s 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide-- are used for color. Dye fixatives used in yarns often come from heavy metals and pollute water systems. Commonly used chemicals also include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach.
So you can see why I set out to create beautifully dyed yarns with a process that has minimal impact on our environment.

The Yarns

My Bluefaced Leicester is 100% British. It comes from small farms all over the UK, and is purchased by my supplier through the British Wool Marketing Board on their behalf.  The fibers are then scoured and Superwash-treated in the UK to the highest environmental standards possible.

You can be confident that my Merino is mulesing-free.

My non-superwash Merino is Peruvian Merino that comes from small herds in the mountains where sheep are the livelihood of the shepherds.  It is in their interest to look after their livestock carefully in order to receive the highest price possible for the fleece, and to guarantee themselves an income.  The Peruvian mill also provides education programs to help shepherds get the best out of their animals.

My Superwash Merino comes from Argentina and Uruguay.  It is sourced from many farms of varying sizes, from smaller to larger farms.

You'll find that my yarn is springy, bouncy, squishy, alive, cottony, and comfortingly soft! It's a dream to knit with, and I know you'll love it!

The Dyes + The Dyeing Process

I started this business using natural dyes and mordants. The natural dye process is a long + laborious one. There are 3 basic steps: scouring the wool, mordanting the wool and then finally dyeing the wool. Each step requires water (lots of it!) + heat for hours on end (electricity). Plus, there is usually dye left over in the dye pot which gets dumped. The total process takes about 8 hours from scouring to getting it ready for you and I started to wonder just how sustainable my process was. It seemed to me that my footprint was getting large, even though I was using natural dyes.

After doing some more research I decided to use low-impact acid dyes. The vendor I have chosen only has 2 colors that contain heavy metals + I am not including those in my palette. The only chemical I use is citric acid, I use less water for less time (1/2 an hour compared to 6), and there is no dye left in the dye pot when the yarn is done. So I'm just pouring water down the drain! It's also much cheaper, which means I'm able to pass the cost savings down to you. I'm confident that this process is much better for the environment.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it! If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me!

Slán go fóill,