Harvesting the Madder in the Natural Dye Garden

Ecrit par [email protected] le 26 novembre 2008 sous Natural Dye Plants

After four years of tending and weeding, the time has finally arrived to harvest the first madder root from the dye garden. Due to the wet autumn it has been difficult to judge the right time to harvest, as the foliage is still green and there are new root shoots. However the arrival of my brother-in-law on holiday heralded that the time was ripe, and with his help we harvested the madder patch.

Madder roots

Each day we dug out a few kilos of madder roots and he washed them before drying. As the week went on he perfected a washing method ...

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Naturally dyed mohair / silk yarn

Ecrit par [email protected] le 19 septembre 2008 sous 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

Ecrit par [email protected] le 11 septembre 2008 sous 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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Weld for Natural Dyeing

Ecrit par [email protected] le 25 mai 2008 sous Natural Dye Plants

The first weld plants are beginning to ripen. Here is a picture of some hanging up to dry.

Weld Drying

Weld is the plant on the right, the other is flax for linen thread. Flax is growing like a weed in the hay pastures this year, where last year there was none. The shutter by the way is painted with woad.

The weld plant is ready for harvest just before the flower shoot really gets going. Here the buds are still tight and the plant is still relatively compact, if left to grow they would probably have shot another foot or so ...

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Knitting competition update

Ecrit par [email protected] le 20 avril 2008 sous Lace Knitting

Lots of you have joined the Ravelry Group, but many of you are not members of Ravelry so I have created our very own Yahoo Renaissance Dyeing Knitting Competition Group Just click the link to join.

You do not need to be taking part in the competition to join, you just need to have a lively interest. Perhaps you want to see how people approach these sort of things before you take the plunge next year.

Graphics will be coming soon!

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Renaissance dyeing knitting competition 2008

Ecrit par [email protected] le 1 avril 2008 sous Lace Knitting

For those of you on Rss Feed this is to let you know that the search is on for the three top Renaissance Dyeing Designers of 2008.

Competition Badge

You will also find: Renaissance Dyeing Design, a group on Ravelry.

There are three categories to go for: lace, non-lace and anything knitted with 5 skeins.

The three winning designers will:

  • Receive a cash prize of $100 or the equivalent in their own currencies.
  • Their designs will be made available as a PDF on the Renaissance Dyeing web-site.
  • They will receive 90% of the revenue from all patterns sold.
  • They will retain their ...

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Three new shades in our natural dye extract range

Ecrit par [email protected] le 5 mars 2008 sous 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

Ecrit par [email protected] le 27 février 2008 sous 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

Ecrit par [email protected] le 19 février 2008 sous 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

Ecrit par [email protected] le 10 décembre 2007 sous 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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