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 17 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 been a provider formally years, 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 as well as from Cedar Grove Ranch in Southern Oregon, 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 was 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!
WHAT'S NEW I've been having a lot of fun supplying Marcia, owner of new yarn store Habetrott's Wheel, in Harborcreek, PA, with all-naturally dyed multi-coloured alpaca yarn (see picture below). Unfortunately I have to be extremely patient right now as new local alpaca yarn from the mill won't be available until well into 2020. All-naturally dyed multi-coloured and/ or speckled one-of-a-kind yarns are always available as custom orders for a minimum of 300 grams on a base of your choice. Please get in touch through the 'Contact Us' page for details and prices. Another round of Phatfiber contributions went out, highlighting "Natural Beauty", something close to my heart! My contribution is a sampler of natural locks (see picture below, left). Fairy Tale Wool sells locks of mohair, Cotswold, Gotland and Romney. Just check the Etsy shop for current offerings. PhatFiber 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 fiber, yarn, 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'.
I've previously never used iron for mordanting or dyeing as I found that the fibres suffered too much and got brittle. A new (to me) recipe, though, prevents the damage of using iron by adding a lot of cream of tartar to the mordant which in turn allows me to produce a true black on wool (see picture below). Therefore black will be available as a shade for all my wool products, effective immediately.