Category archives: Dye House News

The latest news from our natural dye house in France.

More about home grown madder

Written by [email protected] on Nov. 11, 2009 in Dye House News, Natural Dye Plants

Lots of you have asked how I would process the madder harvested last year.

Well, it has dried very well, hanging in my neighbours' barn and was only brought inside just as the cyclone arrived last January. I wasn't going to risk my madder being blown away! It had dried so well that it was possible to snap it into smaller pieces, but not small enough.

Dried Madder

I have saved this home grown madder for this Autumn's sock collection not only because I have heard that madder needs to mature for a year but also I thought that Jan ...

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The Exhausting Pursuit of Pale Pink

Written by [email protected] on Oct. 27, 2009 in Dye House News

Exhaust is the name given in dyeing to the leftover dye baths. So once you have dyed a batch of wool what you have left over in the vat is called first exhaust. Once you have dyed something in this you have the 2nd exhaust left.

With this in mind I set out to dye pale pink!

I needed quite a lot of dark crimson pink Cherry Coloured Twist sock weight yarn for the new pattern by Ysolda Teague being launched in the next issue of Twist Collective, so I started with a strong cochineal dye bath. As I need ...

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Sale of Large 125g Hanks

Written by [email protected] on Aug. 18, 2009 in Dye House News

After a couple of long dyeing sessions there are always the inevitable shades that don't match up to the colours on the range. Sometimes these can be re-dyed but often the colours are so nice it seems a pity not to offer them to you at a reduced price.

There are now a few new shades up on the sales page, some of which are a result of the reaction between the ph of the local water and the logwood dye.

Logwood has a very narrow ph window in which it gives a good blue purple, shift the ph ...

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The Sock Yarn Collection is Gathering Pace

Written by [email protected] on Jan. 8, 2009 in Dye House News

Our naturally dyed sock collection is gathering pace with the addition of two new colours Linden and Rosé. You can see our new sock range here. Both are in the Rêve range, a blend of merino, silk, bamboo and nylon.

Rêve Rosé after tying for the woad vat

The yarn is first wound into 100 g hanks. Then it is washed and mordanted with alum. Before it is dry it is shibori tied and then dyed in cochineal. During the dyeing process new ties were added to vary the cochineal colour. On emerging from the dye vat each hank already had its own distinctive colouring. The ties were ...

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Naturally dyed mohair / silk yarn

Written by [email protected] on Sept. 19, 2008 in Dye House News

You can see the results of a bit of tricky natural dyeing on the Bergers Cathares web-site. Five naturally dyed shades on a wonderfully soft yarn of mohair spun on a silk central thread.

Here is a picture of the 5 shades before they were packed off to the farm.

Mohair Hanks

The dyeing proved difficult as the mohair is so fine it felts very easily and had to be heated up from cool temperatures to simmer very slowly and carefully, given lots of room in the dye bath, leading to smaller dye lots and moved with extreme care through all the ...

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Naturally dyed sock yarn

Written by [email protected] on Sept. 11, 2008 in Dye House News

In case anyone thought that Renaissance Dyeing was dragging its feet regarding sock yarn, tis not so! It is in the pipe line or should I say in the vats. Here is a sneak preview of the De Nimes shades airing after just coming out of the indigo vat.

Sock Yarn Airing

Our naturally dyed sock collection will feature:

  • Two types of machine washable yarn:
    • A 100% pure merino, tightly spun for strength.
    • A super soft mixture of merino, silk and bamboo with a small percentage of nylon to give strength and durability.
  • Both solid and variegated shades, so people can combine, mix ...

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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.


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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