Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm back -- with a suggestion for indie dyers

It's been several weeks since the last post. We lost my father-in-law on August 26 and have been busy winding up all those things that must be done when a loved one passes. Somehow I managed to get all my orders in the mail and hope I haven't forgotten anyone?

BUT.....I'm back in the studio, carding more Sparkling Rhubarb and Eboni's Blue batts. And spinning yarn from the dyed rovings and combed tops I have on hand. I'll be with the Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild booth at Penn's Colony for two weekends and I've been spinning up a storm, trying to get ready.

Which means I've also been washing all those skeins of yarn I've spun up, and there's something I've noticed that disturbs me as a long-time spinner. I use warm water and shampoo to wash my skeins as I want to remove the spinning oil and any dirt that accumulated because clean wool yarn fluffs a bit and looks wonderful. seems that in the past year I've been running into more and more dyed rovings that are not washfast, meaning the dye bleeds in the wash. A little bit of color bleeding is expected, but it's evident from the amount of bleeding that some of these rovings have not been rinsed. I mentioned this to a friend of mine who is a dyer and she related several stories about dyers she's encountered at festivals who do not want to rinse their product because it won't look as good to the buyer(s).

And I have to ask---Just what do you hope to accomplish when you sell a beautifully colored roving (or yarn) to someone, who then washes it and the yarn fades because the excess dye has washed away? Or worse yet, when the bleeding dye attachs itself to another, differently-colored, skein and that skein is ruined? How does it help your business if you make the sale but never make another sale to that particular customer because your dyes ran in the wash water?

Please please rinse your dyed rovings and yarns thoroughly. It's just the right thing to do if you're putting your product in the hands of others.

And now I'll climb down off my soapbox and go make dinner.......


RMK said...

A kindred spirit! I agree, esp as a Natural Dyer. Seems that I have to rinse forever to get yarns that "run clear in cool water", but that's what it takes to provide a yarn that doesn't stain the hands of knitters & bleed excessiviely when 2 or more colors are combined.

Deb at Merciful Hearts Farm said...

Totally agree! I dye huge masses of yarn & roving each year. There are colors that I know will take numerous rinses but I just smile & keep going. I keep in mind that some sweet lady might knit a burgundy scarf for a special treat & then end up with a pink stain on her white sweater on a drizzly day... GOOD handwork requires conscientious persistence. I have many repeat customers & would never want to shame myself with them nor would I want to disappoint a stranger I'll never see again.

bognar said...

hear, hear!