If you are interested in naturally dyed, unspun wool roving, silk and other protein fibers as well as art batts, rolags and fiber arts, this is the place to be.
For nearly 13 years I have been fascinated by what nature provides for the creative realm. The idea to dye with natural dye substances was inspired by my close connection to our local Waldorf (Steiner) school. Influenced by German naturalist, biologist and poet, Wolfgang von Goethe,and deeply steeped into the seasonal cycles, this school system provides an indepth understanding of how colours are created and how they effect us on every level of our being.
Unlike synthetic colours, which are mono-chromatic, natural dyes create a variety of colours in each dye bath, and our imagination creates the shades that we want (or need) to see. And unlike synthetic colours, each shade goes harmonically with every other shade, never clashing.
Here in British Columbia, Canada's Pacific Northwest, we are blessed by mild temperatures year-round which allows me to grow some of the dyes in my own garden. We are equally blessed by the proximity of some good sheep breeders. Fairy Tale Wool sources its wool mostly from Saltspring Island, the biggest Western Canadian Gulf Island. There is a long tradition of excellence in the quality of wool and the variety of breeds. Maria Horback at Wet Woolies Farmis my main provider, augmented by Margret Thomson's herd of Cotswold sheep at Windrush Farm. and Brenda and Bill Hamilton's Alpaca farm in Nelson, BC. The latest addition to the team is Mohair wool from Cole's Farm in the Cowachin Valley on Vancouver Island, BC. and local alpaca from Roberts Creek, BC.
My deepest gratitude goes to Dorothea Fischer in Germany who has been my greatest inspiration and teacher. Her ongoing research into natural dye substances is outstanding, and thanks to her you are now able to enjoy over 30 different shades of dyed wool!
Make sure to visit the 'Natural Dyeing' page to check out my Natural Dye Recipe of the Week!
During my latest trip along the West Coast of the US, I was fortunate to pick up some mohair locks from Cedar Grove Ranch in Southern Oregon. This allowed me to finally offer a variety pack of natural mohair locks, a long time wish of mine! Now listed in the Etsy shop. And follow @cedargroveranch on Instagram and see what their little tribe is up to! Whilst working on a custom order of 100% wool felt yardage, it dawned on me that I should be offering this awesome product to all of you! It's amazing how the natural dye penetrates the fabric and creates the deepest, richest shades. So by August Ist should be ready to offer dyed yardage (as a custom order) as well as 20x30 cm sheets. Just keep an eye on the Etsy shop! Waldorf schools beware!
My friend and felting artist Ursula Bentz and I have just been accepted to our local arts and craft fair Hackett Park, August 18-20. So if you are a local or happen to be on the Sunshine Coast, BC, during this time, we'd be delighted to meet you!
Another round of Phatfiber contributions went out this month, themed 'The Bee's Knees'! My creation is called 'A Busy Bee's Perfect World' (see picture below, left, and will be listed later this month) These are surprise boxes, supporting and promoting small fiber businesses, an ingenious way for fiber enthusiast to receive samples of beautiful and sometimes one-of-a-kind rolags, art batts, skeins, stitch markers, patterns, buttons, kits and even lovely goodies such as tea, bath crystals, candy, etc.! Take a look at my contributions in the Etsy shop, marked with 'Phatfiber'.