Kristine Vejar, founder of A Verb for Keeping Warm, champions the use of natural dyes in knitting yarn as well as locally sourced fleece, fibre and dye materials. Her book, the Modern Natural Dyer, was the first natural dye book I owned. It's so beautifully put together, and the project based methods are a fun way of learning about the various materials and techniques. Although my knowledge has expanded somewhat since I initially received this book, it still contains my preferred scouring and mordanting process for wool (p58).
Her book teaches 'mindful' gathering - only taking the plants that you need for your project, choosing weeds over rarer plants, and never removing bark from live trees. These methods work on an individual scale - one critique of natural dyeing is that it may be difficult to produce at scale:
These may not be suited to large scale production, often requiring large amounts of water and chemical fixing agents. However they can be grown organically and are carbon neutral, and their use brings great benefits at an artisanal level." (Ethical Fashion Forum, 2017, online)
However, Vejar manages to produce large quantiy of naturally dyed yarn and textiles, running a
"dye studio producing 200-300 pounds of naturally dyed yarn, fabric, and fiber a month." (A Verb for Keeping Warm, 2017, online)
It is reassuring to hear that her and her company manage to produce at large scale. A Verb for Keeping Warm only sell the naturally dyed yarn rather than the knitted textile - perhaps there is a gap in the market for me?
- A Verb for Keeping Warm. (2017) Studio/Process. [Online] Available from: https://www.averbforkeepingwarm.com/pages/studio-process [Accessed 17 November 2017]
- Ethical Fashion Forum. (2017) Dyes. [Online] Available from: http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues/dyes [Accessed 17 November 2017]
- Vejar, K. The Modern Natural Dyer. Abrams: New York.