Hand spun and mill spun yarns are hand dyed at The Handspinner Having Fun. Our wide range of colours are inspired by the amazing landscape on the Isle of Skye throughout its seasons. The colours are vibrant and we dye solid or block colours and variegated colours that produce random colour patterns when knitted as opposed to repeating patterns of commercial dyed yarns. Our yarns work best if two balls are worked at the same time and the yarn is carried up the seam edge to produce an even variation.
We believe acid dyes are more environmentally friendly than ‘natural’ dyes and they conform to the appropriate British Standards. Natural dyes are often from plants or minerals that can be rare and they require a ‘mordant’ to fix the dyes. Alum is often used as a mordant and there is an environmental impact when it is mined. Natural dyes take excess amounts of the dye product in order to produce the colours and reproduction of the colour is unreliable. The waste product from the dye is then released into the water drainage system.
Acid dyes by contrast require no mordant, the amount of dye is calculated for the weight of yarn to be used and the dye is fully absorbed by the yarn so no dye is released into the water drainage system. If there is any excess dye remaining it is used to dye another batch of yarn and often produces an interesting new shade. Our ‘mistakes’ (those colours we had not chosen to dye) are often the most popular.
Although similar colours can be reproduced through our dye batch coding system they will not be identical – so you always need to ensure that you buy enough of the dye batch product for your project!