A look at Sunflowers and their Natural Dye properties

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

Sunflowers have been used for centuries, if not millennium by the Hopi Indians to dye a range of reds, purples and blues. This summer has been especially good for growing sunflowers anywhere in Europe.

These de-flowered seed heads below are a variety called Van Gogh. As you can see the wonderful whirl of seeds are purple when young, turning to purply black as they mature. Although all the seeds I sowed looked the same, some plants have grown with several flower heads to each plant these having the purple natural dye producing seeds shown below.

Van Gogh sunflowers

However some are giant one ...

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Woad/Pastel, grown for dyeing in the Ariège, France

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

This is a single woad plant (pastel in french) flowering in my garden here in the Ariège. Strange is it not that a plant that dyes so blue should have such yellow flowers? I have removed nearly all the other plants as I do not know how invasive it is, but this one I will let go to seed, to sow in August for plants for next year.

Near Pamiers on the road to Pujols there was a field of woad/pastel that has just been harvested as the seeds were ripening. A whole field of purple teardrops which are ...

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Racaire Medieval Embroidery

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Your Gallery

What a strange world we live in where people not only still have the medieval skills but can share it with the whole world at the same time. Anna and her friend Anya have set each other the challenge of completing a medieval embroidery in a year and a day. Anna chose to make hers in naturally dyed crewel wool in keeping with the embroidery she is working on.

You can watch this beautiful embroidery grow at Racaire's blog .

Racaire Embroidery

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Weaving with Renaissance Dyeing naturally dyed Crewel Wool

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Your Gallery

While at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show, We were visited by one of this year's course participants, Christine Holman. She brought with her a beautiful blanket that she had woven with the Renaissance fine 2/24 wool she had dyed on the course with varying depths of indigo.

Here it is on her loom, she tied up 1300 ends and not one broke during the weaving process.

Christine's Weaving

One feel of this wonderful piece of weaving spurred fellow weavers to buy wool for their own projects. Thank you Christine, for sharing this with us all, also for the help ...

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Lace Knitting with naturally hand-dyed yarn

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Lace Knitting

I thought that today, being Bastille day here in France, would be perfect to launch the lace knitting page. Yes, Renaissance naturally hand-dyed crewel wool has been discovered by the lace knitters!

Young American knitting designer Miriam Felton has been busy adapting her impressive Mountain Peaks design to be knitted with Renaissance wool. You can view and buy the pattern here. The shawl below is knitted using 3 x 250m hanks of Dark Green (1511). The pattern for the shawl is inspired by the magnificent Rocky Mountains where Miriam lives.

Miriam wearing shawl

This is what Miriam has to say about our naturally ...

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Stockport's Staircase Stitchers

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Your Gallery

Tester Bed

This is the tester bed in Staircase House, Stockport. There are over 50 volunteer stitchers under the expert eye of Jane Dew busily creating bed-curtains, cushions, samplers and much more, to decorate the bed and this wonderfully restored house.

Stitched Green Flowers

They are very much enjoying using Renaissance wool and each new parcel from our dye house is greeted with whoops of delight!

Crewel work slips

You will be able to meet Jane and some of the Stitchers when they bring their work to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show at the end of November.

We will be there too of course! See you then.

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Our naturally dyed yarns ready for Harrogate textile show

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

Here in Le Fort, which is the tiny part of our village once occupied by a Roman fort, the shared washing line has been given up for Renaissance Dyeing's naturally dyed wool, wash pegs have been lent and photographs taken.

Washing for Harrogate

In a day or two we will wind it into skeins and hanks. Wool, silk, cotton, cashmere, merino, local organic 4-ply; some will be bagged into co-ordinated kits, some will be left loose so that at Harrogate you can order lengths to suit yourselves.

In a few weeks or months it will be all over the world used in ...

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Beautiful embroidery from northern Italy using our naturally dyed wool

Written by [email protected] on March 24, 2007 in Your Gallery

Ricamo Bandera di Chieri pattern

Towards the end of last year we had several enquiries from people seeking an alternative thread to DMC Medici, which had ceased to be available. L'associazione Amici Del Ricamo Bandera di Chieri Torino was one of these and here are pictures of their first work produced with Renaissance Dyeing naturally dyed crewel wool.

It has been made by Anna Ghigo Merlassion the president of the Association.

L'associazione Amici Del Ricamo Bandera di Chieri was founded on September 1999 in order to safeguard and promote the traditional Piedmontese embroidery handicraft which was used to decorate the local cloth, Bandera ...

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