About Us and Our Ethos.

We are small indie dying business set up in 2010 to produce high quality yarns and fibres dyed with natural dyes.

The business came about from some initial experimentation with natural dyeing by myself to produce hand-dyed yarn and fibre for my partner's insatiable knitting and spinning habit. I enjoyed experimenting with locally harvested plant material and applying some tricks from my past career as a plant biologist. Given the fact that I was out of work and there were no job opportunities on the horizon we decided to expand my dabblings and produce and sell dyed fibre, initially starting off very small and then expanding (hopefully) as we sell more and more yarn and fibre.

As we both believe in the importance of living in a more sustainable mannner we decided to base the business around environmentally-conscious ideals and this is reflected in the materials we use to produce our yarns and fibres.

Our dyes

We chose to stick with natural dyes as they are extracted simply using water (sometimes with mild alkali) from fresh or dried plant material thus avoiding the pollution problems associated with manufacture of many synthetic dyes. We only use dried material from British suppliers or fresh material, either grown ourselves or harvested locally in a sustainable manner. Some of the locally harvested material comes as a byproduct of volunteer work I carry out for a local country park. All home-grown or harvested material is grown without the use of chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

We do not use dye extracts except for indigo, which unless we grow it ourselves, is only available in extract form.

For mordanting we use alum (a simple rock salt), extracted plant mordants or iron. Iron can be toxic in large quantities but we only use small amounts of iron sulphate, the principal ingrediant of iron tablets. We also live in an area where iron regularly leaches into waterways from natural sources (much more than we would ever use) but is cleared out by aquatic plants before reaching our main river. We also use some copper as a modifier but follow recommended procedures utilising vinegar to minimise the amount used (and hence minimise the amount thrown away).

We do not use chrome or tin due to their toxicity.

Our Yarn and Fibre

All our yarns are purchased from British-based suppliers. We also seek out yarn and fibre from British flocks to further reduce air-miles although for some varieties that is not always possible. We currently buy all alpaca fibre directly from British producers so ensuring they get all the benefit from their animals' fleeces.

The origin of all our yarns and fibre, where known, is indicated in our shop listings.

At the moment we only offer our fibre as batts. This is because the process of natural dyeing, involving first simmering in mordant and then simmering in dye is quite rough on fibre and the structure of tops is soon disrupted. Therfore we have to recard the dyed fibre. This also allows us to dye colours separatly and then blend them so increasing the number of available colour schemes.

Postage and Packing

For posting we use what we believe are currently the least-environmentally damaging carriers. They are manufactured with a high content of recycled material and contain biothene to promote biodegradation. They also have two sealing strips to allow reuse so please reuse them if possible.

Due to the difficulty in finding recycled, acid-free tissue paper we currently use material manufactured from certified Scandanavian sustainable sources. Once again please try and reuse the tissue when no longer required or put for composting/recycling.

All yarn/fibre tags are printed on recycled material.