About My Dye Process

My yarns are like no other! The yarns that are sold in big box stores serve a purpose but did you know they are made with nasty chemicals to make them soft? Formaldehyde is applied with heat, making it trapped in the fiber permanently, and petrochemical polluting dyes, whose production creates nitrous oxide--a greenhouse gas that’s 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide-- are used for color. Dye fixatives used in yarns often come from heavy metals and pollute water systems.Commonly used chemicals also include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and dioxin-producing bleach.
So you can see why I set out to create beautifully dyed yarns with a process that has minimal impact on our environment.

The Yarns

One of my suppliers was founded in 2007 by two women who were committed to sustaining the open spaces of Wyoming. After a rich history, many sheep ranches have had to shut down. My supplier sources their premium fiber from local ranchers. The dry climate, clean air, cool summer, and cold winters in Wyoming help to make the wool naturally fine and soft. They only use environmentally friendly cleaners and vegetable based spinning oil. They are committed to building a company that respects nature and sustainability.

My other supplier is a family business that has been producing and selling hand knitting yarns for over 30 years. Their fibers are sourced from reliable material suppliers where they can establish best practice in relation to animal husbandry and the environment, as well as the best rearing and grading practices. No animals are injured to provide their fiber as they only use shorn or material that has shed naturally from the animal. The farms take particular care to ensure that the animals are well kept, that the grading is of the very highest standard, and that the land is sustained in an environmental way. None of the yarns have been sourced from farms that employ the Mulesing system.

Each skein has an extremely short "trace-back": Rancher-->Our supplier-->Go Knit Yourself. Not much processing going on here!

You'll find that my yarn is springy, bouncy, squishy, alive, cottony, and comfortingly soft! It's a dream to knit with, and I know you'll love it!

The Dyes + The Dyeing Process

I started this business using natural dyes and mordants. The natural dye process is a long + laborious one. There are 3 basic steps: scouring the wool, mordanting the wool and then finally dyeing the wool. Each step requires water (lots of it!) + heat for hours on end (electricity). Plus, there is usually dye left over in the dye pot which gets dumped. The total process takes about 8 hours from scouring to getting it ready for you and I started to wonder just how sustainable my process was. It seemed to me that my footprint was getting large, even though I was using natural dyes.

After doing some more research I decided to use low-impact acid dyes. The vendor I have chosen only has 2 colors that contain heavy metals + I am not including those in my palette. The only chemical I'll be using is citric acid, I will use less water for less time (1/2 an hour compared to 6), and there will be no dye left in the dye pot when the yarn is done. So I'll just be pouring water down the drain! It's also much cheaper, which means I'll be able to pass the cost savings down to you. I'm confident that this process is much better for the environment.

Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoyed it! If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me!

Peace + Love,