Three new shades in our natural dye extract range

Written by [email protected] on March 5, 2008 in Natural Dye Extracts

Our natural dye extract range is soon to be enlarged by three new shades: Mulberry, Cochineal and Valonia Oak. They will be up on the website as soon as they arrive in a day or two. Meanwhile here are a few photographs of my samples and experiments. Please feel free to leave any comments below.

Silk and Wool Samples

A Selection of silk and wool threads dyed with Mulberry Dye Extract. Underneath is a silk hanky which will be exciting to spin and at the top is a pair of socks that I cold mordanted with alum and then painted with mulberry and cochineal ...

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Staircase Stitchers Update

Written by [email protected] on Feb. 27, 2008 in Your Gallery

I thought you would like to see what Jane Dew and the Staircase Stitchers have been doing with Renaissance Dyeing's naturally dyed crewel wool.

I have made the images as large as possible so you can have a good look. The work is truly inspiring. Do feel free to leave your comments below and I will pass them on to Jane and the Staircase Stitchers.

The Curtain on the Frame

This is view from the bottom of the curtain stretched on the frame. The hills at the bottom and the main tree trunks are stitched straight on to the curtain fabric while it is ...

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Thanksgiving Shawl kit in madder

Written by [email protected] on Feb. 19, 2008 in Dye House News, Lace Knitting

In case you were wondering about the prolonged silence coming from Renaissance Dyeing, it is because I have been away teaching in Ruskin Mill in England for 6 weeks.

I am celebrating my return to the soft Pyrenean pastures with a new Thanksgiving shawl kit in shades of madder, for the same price as the indigo kit, that is €65,00.

Thanksgiving Shawl in Madder

Madder is a root which has been used for dyeing reds, pinks, corals and browns for millennium. It is the source of all those gorgeous reds and browns in Persian rugs. Madder is very fast to light and washing ...

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New thanksgiving shawl designed by Sharon Miller

Written by [email protected] on Dec. 10, 2007 in Dye House News, Lace Knitting

The new Thanksgiving shawl kit, designed by Sharon Miller of Heirloom Knitting with naturally dyed wool from Renaissance Dyeing will be on sale by the end of the week.

Thanksgiving

The kit will include a printed pattern by Sharon Miller with written and charted instructions plus seven 250m hanks of naturally dyed wool in indigo.

As you can see in the picture on the right the design was inspired by the delicate feathering of a birds wing, the different nuances of our naturally dyed lace-weight wool perfectly lend themselves to the creation of this feather light shawl.

The kit is now ...

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Margaret and David Redpath

Written by [email protected] on Nov. 11, 2007 in Dye House News

Some of you may have noticed that I was away from the dye-house in October. I was in Marlborough, England where I met with David and Margaret Redpath. It was so lovely to see them again and even in a short lunch time meeting there was so much to glean from their vast knowledge of natural dyeing.

After lunch we met with Susan Pearson of the Merchant's House in Marlborough with whom we had come to discuss the natural dyeing of wool for their 12 sixteenth century chairs that are being renovated by a group of volunteer embroiderers.

Here ...

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Harlequin shawl pattern

Written by [email protected] on Oct. 14, 2007 in Dye House News

Arriving in a day or two, ready for autumn and those even chillier winter days, the new Renaissance Dyeing harlequin shawl kit.

It is a simple neckerchief size shawl measuring 120 cm / 48 ins across the top and it is 60 cm / 24 ins long. Harlequin is fine and light and is designed for everyday wear.

It is the combination of an easy traditional pattern and an intarsia technique motive which calls for a bit of experience or a lot of patience to give it a try.

Harlequin Shawl

The main body of the shawl is worked in a self decreasing traditional ...

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New mediaeval embroidery challenge

Written by [email protected] on Sept. 25, 2007 in Your Gallery

For those of you interested in Mediaeval Embroidery, here is an inspiring challenge.

The Something to Keep you Warm Embroidery Challenge II

It is the daughter of the Walling Hanging Challenge being completed by Racaire and Anya.

There are some very interesting links on these sites, have a look around.

The challenge will run from September 2007 - September 2008.

In their own words:

"This time around we decided on a more ahem useful theme for the project! Embroidered items can include hats, gloves, blankets, stockings, cloaks, anything that you use to keep you warm. These and the embroidery on them ...

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Lace knitting kits from Miriam Felton

Written by [email protected] on Sept. 9, 2007 in Lace Knitting

Yes they are here. Ready for the the run up to Christmas and the chilly weather, when it finally arrives! Two wonderful designs by up-and-coming young American designer Miriam Felton.

Riverwide Scarf

Even I was amazed at the softness, lightness and drape of the Riverwide scarf. It is knitted sideways with 2 strands and the garter lace stream and delta pattern are both written and charted.

It is also possible for you to e-mail me and change the colours in the kit to those of your choice. Tongues of fire through asphalt? Flower beds in between a box hedge?

Riverwide - Lace knitting kit

Lightweight ...

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Why rain water is used for our natural dyes

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Dye House News

The wonderful news is that it is raining! For the first time since Christmas. Tap, spring and even river water (I've tried them all) in our part of the Pyrénées are very very hard. While some natural dyes positively glow in this, dyes such as brazil-wood, logwood and cochineal do not and these we usually dye in rain water. We are running very low in shades produced with these natural dyes, so we are very relieved to see the rain.

Crewel Wool

As always at this time of year demand is increasing and I have had my fingers crossed ...

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Madder Plants in our natural dye garden

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Natural Dye Plants

This madder is only a few months old, in 2-3 years it will have covered all the ground and the roots will be ready to harvest that Autumn.

Madder seems to grow well in this area of France, where the summers are hot but not too dry. There has been a recent attempt to grow it in Provence which was abandoned, I think because of lack of water.

Madder Plants

However in Holland where madder was grown traditionally, a new company was launched last month called Rubia. If you are looking for madder extract it is worth looking at their site.

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