Yarn hand-dying

If you have ever visited my School Products Yarn store, you have probably seen an ocean of different color-sand textures of hand-dyed cashmere hanks and hand-dyed merino wool hanks on the tables. These are tied in bunches which are called “mushrooms”. They are incredibly soft and silky and a pleasure to touch. They are unique and once sold, can not be replaced with the same color. They are simply a work of art! I bring the yarn from Italy undyed and hand-dye it in my back-yard. I started 6 or 7 years ago when my designer/friends were unable to produce the quantities I needed. In my usual way I decided to solve the problem by doing it myself! I started it and loved it and every summer I am dying to do my dyeing! That’s a little bit of a lie – I love and hate it! Love the results and hate the slave labor. Wait, don’t be discouraged - don’t forget I am dyeing commercial quantities and its therefore very hard work. If you do a small or moderate amount, it is an incredibly creative and challenging process. The results are often unpredictable (not always to your liking, I have to say) but always exciting. It really depends on whether you are following a recipe or experimenting with colors. Up until last year, I mostly experimented. People loved my colors,and whatever I produced, sold well. However, last year we started getting re-orders for the same colors and I was forced to write recipes and remember where I left my notebook (that was the hardest part, as I am so disorganised). This year, I realized how much easier it is to follow a recipe but, of course,I had to satisfy my creative nature as well and do some mish-mash. It’s very funny when the most gorgeous colors emerge and I have absolutely no idea how I got them. I am attaching pictures of my hand-dyed Aurora 6 merino wool collection from this summer. These hanks were dyed from my secret recipes which I will leave to my grandchildren in my will! (just kidding). If you would like to see more of my hand-dyed yarns, click on Berta’s Store and designer’s hand-dyed yarn.
In the next post I will be writing about how to prepare the yarn for dyeing and the equipment I use.

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