What Yarns to Dye?
With the restock of The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar I thought it would be a good time to take a little look at some of the yarns in the shop suitable for dyeing.
Of course you can dye and over-dye just about anything with varied results. Different fibres will give you different effects as well as dyeing on different natural shades. If you want the brightest and best results it's usually advised to go for paler more natural shades, this way if you are using more subtle natural dyes they will really have a base to shine. Also there is a difference between animal fibres and plant fibres and how you prepare them for dyeing which you will learn about in the The Modern Natural Dyer.
The Modern Natural Dyer is a great project by project book where skills are introduced through various sewing and knitting projects. With chapters on choosing you material to beautifully photographed sections on the colours to expect from different natural dye stuffs. You learn how to prepare, scour(wash), mordant and dye your chosen material.
Here are my favourites for dyeing:
Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk Vilje – Ubleket Hvit 7400 - Traditionally spun by the family owned mill Hillesvåg, in 100% Norwegian Lambs Wool, Vilje is the finest white fibres in a 4Ply weight yarn. I dyed up the heavier weight Hillesvåg lambswool with onion skins and got this fun orange.
G-uld Alpaca Undyed - Undyed shades of oh so soft alpaca yarn from G-uld comes in both the white and grey. Perfect for dye experiments.
Garthenor Number 3 - All British and certified organic! Garthenor Number 3 is a DK yarn suitable for practical wear as well as for the very special heirloom pieces. All these shades are undyed and natural blends of different fibre colours. Some of the marled ones would be fun to try. For a lace weight try Garthenor Number 1.
Växbo Lin Lingarn 12/2 - This 100% natural pure linen yarn, traditionally grown and spun in Sweden, is certified with the Swedish Good Environmental Choice label (Bra Miljöval) because of its durability and environmentally friendly processing. The unbleached, pale bleached and bleached shades would be fun to play with. I have tried a thinner thread that I used for book binding with a very concentrated onion skin dye that came out beautifully.
The FIbre Co Lore - Lore is a 100% Lambswool, an honest woollen spun DK weight yarn that blooms into a beautiful knitted fabric after washing. The white Logical colour would be interesting to try.
John Arbon Devonia - A gorgeous blend of 3 UK breeds, creating a soft to the hand and shiny yarn in 4Ply and DK. I have always wanted to try dyeing the Devonia Cream colour.
There are many more so enjoy experimenting. I have had plenty of failures as well as wonderful surprises. You could divide up a skein if you wanted to work with smaller quantities as well as dying over failures to see if something new appears. Have fun!