Care and Washing of Naturally Dyed Yarn and Fibre.

We only use natural dyes that are recorded as having good wash and light-fastness or have been shown to be relativly robust in our own tests. However naturally dyed materials may not be as robust as their synthetic equivalents, so some precautions are needed. However these are not significantly different from the precautions you need to take with natural fibes anyway.

The key points are:

Naturally dyed fibre shouldn't colour-bleed

All our yarns and fibres are washed and rinsed thoroughly after dyeing to remove any excess dye so that none of our products should bleed significant amounts dye. However with yarns with a high silk content there is occasionally some surplus that only comes out in its own time so a slight tinge in the water may occur on washing them.

Indigo and Crocking

Sometimes yarn dyed with indigo will leave a blue cast on your fingers. This is called crocking which can be a problem with some indigo-dyed material (think how some indigo-dyed jeans can colour your legs) and is normally due to excess indigo that resists normal washing out. I do have a dyeing method that should reduce the issue to virtually zero but no method is 100%. An added problem with indigo is that crocking also depends on skin chemistry-it happens a lot worse for some people than others so it may happen whatever (a good check is do you get blue legs with indigo-dyed jeans).

If it does occur with you then we recommend a one-off wash with a strong dose of non-biological detergent after the garment has been knitted/crocheted as this, together with handling is normally enough to release the last of the surplus indigo.

All our products should be hand-washed

As our yarn and fibre all contain high proportions of natural fibres they will be felted by high temperature or agitation. therefor we strongly recommend hand washing in warm (30ºc, 86ºF) water, with minimal agitation. They can then be rinsed in clean water and gently squeezed (not wrung) dry. This gentle washing will also minimize any fading of the colours with repeated washing which is why we recommend this treatment even for our super-wash fibres.

If you wish to felt the yarn/fibre then of course a vigorous, 40ºc or higher, wash in a washing machine will be fine to felt but repeated vigorous washing may over time lead to some fading.

Use a mild pH-neutral detergent

As with all natural fibres a specialist wool, or other mild detergent is recommended to prevent damage to the fibre. This should ideally be a pH-neutral detergent to preserve the colours of the fibre or yarn. Many natural dyes are pH-sensitive meaning they change colour in acid or alkali conditions so a particularly acid or alkali detergent will modify the colours of naturally dyed yarn. This is also why you should never vinegar-rinse naturally-dyed material even though it is sometimes erroneously suggested as a way of fixing colour. If on washing the yarn does change colour it is likely that your water is either very acid or alkaline, most likely the former (as our water is hard and alkaline). If so then a rinse in either vinegar or washing soda will return the colour.


As with all natural fibres do not tumble dry any of our products unless you really want them to felt.

Once knitted up our yarns are best dried in a flat horizontal position to maintain the shape of the garment.

Light fastness

Although we only use light-fast dyes no natural dye is 100% resistant to fading (as is true of some synthetic dyes). Under normal use and wear any fading should only be visible over a long period of time. However, if you wish to store our yarn and fibre in a sunny, south facing window or under a high-intensity lamp then we cannot guarantee the colours will remain true.