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 14 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 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 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!
A heartfelt Thank You and a Happy and Healthy 2018 to all of you! If there is anything that you'd like to see in our Etsy store and it's currently missing, please let me know! Feel free to contact us for custom-made felted figurines. Any shape or size possible.
Lambswool - what a treat. The first shearing of a sheep which will never be repeated. With an exceptional softness and quality. For a limited time only I'm offering Cotswold lambswool both as roving as well as locks (long staple!). You have to touch this silky and soft squishiness!!! 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. Now finally available in over 30 shades, these 25x35 cm sheets are bigger than your usual synthetic felt ones. Waldorf schools beware!
Another round of Phatfiber contributions went out in December, themed 'Midnight Stroll', my contribution being rolags called 'Sunset's End', an extra-soft fiber mix of natural black alpaca and naturally dyed, merino,.Romney and mulberry silk (see picture below, left) 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'.
And I've been interviewed for the first time! Madeleine Rosenberg of Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium is offering wonderful podcasts, chatting with producers like myself and fiber enthusiasts about anything under the sun. In my case, it was about the obvious: natural dyeing and the 100 mile acquisition of fiber, and much more. The podcast will be launched at the beginning of February at www.ballyhoofiberemporium.com