About Natural Dyes

Natural dyes are part of Nature’s bounty, and have a luminous quality that is hard to describe. The colors are easy on the eyes, never harsh, and combine harmoniously just as they do in the wild.
 
Natural dyeing is a multi-step process requiring advance preparation including mordanting. I use only non-toxic mordants in my processes.
 
Natural dyes are formed by sunlight, the elements, rain, wind, shelter, and so many other variables. This means that when using natural dyestuffs the exact same result may not be guaranteed time after time, unlike with synthetic dyes. If you have a particular project in mind and would like naturally dyed yarn or fiber, please let me know so that I can dye the quantity you need all at the same time.
Dried flowers in mason jars ready to be made into dye
Naturally dyed yarns hanging to dry by the chicken coop

Care

We love the sun, but strong sunlight can fade any colors including those from natural substances. Although I use generally lightfast dyes, fading may still occur if fibers are exposed to prolonged strong light. Even if they become less intense with time in the sun, natural colors retain their beauty, taking on a “vintage” quality.

Washing

Hand wash fibers and garments in cool water with Ph-neutral mild detergent or fiber wash. Lay flat to dry. A small amount of run-off is normal and will not affect the overall color. Do not add vinegar to prevent run-off: it may have the opposite effect.

Crocking

Fibers dyed with indigo and woad may “crock” or rub off a little on one’s hands while spinning, knitting, crocheting, or otherwise handling. Do not be alarmed! This is normal and does not affect the color. Residue washes off easily with soap and water. This is most likely to happen with some blue, purple, and green shades.

For more on our dyeing and yarnmaking process, see our About Butterfly’s Web page.

Fibers dyed with indigo and woad may %22crock%22 or rub off a little on one's hands while spinning, knitting, or crocheting, or otherwise handling. Do not be alarmed! This is normal and does not affect the color. Residue washes off easily with soap and water. This is most likely to happen with blue, purple, and green shades.

Contact Butterfly

To learn more about caring for your naturally dyed items and how to order yarns dyed with natural materials, contact Butterfly's Web.

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