Thursday, 8 September 2011

Perceptions of Organic Dyeing

The terms 'organically dyed' and 'dyed organically': what does this mean to you? Natural dyes or synthetic, or simply processed to organic standards?  Does it matter?

We use 'natural' dyes for the yarns we use for making our knitwear; our process is certified by the Soil Association to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS). GOTS also allow dyeing using low impact synthetic dyes. This is necessary - it is economically and practically impossible, and probably unsustainable, to use natural dyes for everything. 

But - very often, customers are taken aback when we talk to them about what we do and our colours, and learn that most organic textiles use synthetic dyes. There seems to be an assumption that organic wool, particularly, is coloured with plant dyes, and often disappointment on finding this may not be the case. 

Of course, in the world of the chemist, the term organic is a little different to consumer understanding, too. 

We describe our wool as 'dyed to organic textile standards'. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

More Penpont Pics

Penpont House, in common with most old country houses and estates, has a huge walled garden. Produce from this Soil Association certified garden is sold in the little shop at the back of the stables.

 Flowers are also grown and make a lovely splash of autumn colour

I love the combination of this echinacea with the agapanthus.............

Monday, 5 September 2011

Big Skill at Penpont House

Another lovely weekend festival at this amazingly beautiful estate near Sennybridge in Powys. A lot more visitors than last year so we're hoping it will go from strength to strength - it's one of our favourite events. This photo was taken early in the morning from the little bridge over the River Usk; the main house is to the left in the background. Fly  fishing was one of the activities on offer and what a lovely setting to try.

We were lucky to have a big space in the old stables, a building that has been restored and converted into a multi use facility while retaining all it's character. Traditional building materials give it a real charm and softens and we loved 'playing shop' with our area! A long bench gave seating for knitting and chatting and our old travelling trunk made an impromptu 'coffee table'. Wouldn't it be marvellous if this was really our shop?