Category archives: Dye House News

The latest news from our natural dye house in France.

Kate Wallace - Designer for Knitnation

Written by [email protected] on July 10, 2010 in Dye House News

First I would like to share with you the latest news from the Staircase Stitchers.. it sounds exciting.. here is what Jane Dew has to say," After five inspiring years, of the Staircase Stitchers', 13 projects are rapidly being completed, two bed hangings are up, one more completed and three on frames! Glorious needlepoint cushion covers, both entirely needlepoint and four with "slips" are ready for making up and the dowry cupboard carpet in petit point is well over half done. It is all truly AMAZING!!

When I have time, after finishing making the bespoke feather cushions and the the ...

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Knitnation designers

Written by [email protected] on June 26, 2010 in Dye House News

It has been a while since the last blog post and much wool has passed through the dye vats since then, with just a month to go to the Knitnation 2010 expo I thought I had better let you know what was going on in the dye house.

Although our main product is still the embroidery threads, knitting has been occupying Tee and me for quite a while now as we dye and wind the wool for the kits the designers are finalising for Knitnation. Tee is a whirlwind of efficiency as she winds piles of precisely weighed hanks to ...

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Juliet Sargeant's Naturally Dyed Garden

Written by [email protected] on June 20, 2010 in Dye House News

Juliet Sargeant, the award winning garden designer has been visiting Renaissance Dyeing with a camera crew from the BBC's Gardener's World.

BBC filming Julet

After visiting my non-award winning garden and looking at the madder and woad plants there, Juliet had a go at naturally dyeing with woad, one of the plants that will be growing in her natural dye garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show.

Producer Richard Holmes and researcher Simon Rice are zooming around the garden exhibitors filming for their special Hampton Court Flower Show edition of Gardener's World which will be broadcast on Friday July 10th ...

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Cookie A Sock Innovation Kal Sponsor

Written by [email protected] on Dec. 2, 2009 in Dye House News

Renaissance Dyeing is a sponsor for this months Cookie A, Sock Innovation, Knit-a-long (Kal)

For the month of December (2009) We will be offering a 10% discount for anyone in the Ravelry, Sock Innovation Group.

The prize we are offering for the winner of the Kal is NOT a hank of our naturally plant dyed BFL sock wool but a Natural Dyed Sock Kit.

The winner will receive full instructions on how to use it, which is the equivalent of spending a day here in one of my workshops, without the French bit, unfortunately.

Just to show it is not ...

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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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