Naturally Dyed from Nature’s Beauty
When Tonya dislocated several ribs in July of 2016 she was not able to do field work for several months. And because of this, she turned to her other love… yarn and knitting. She began experimenting with dyeing wool and wool blend yarns with the plants that grow on our farm. Natural dyeing quickly became a new addiction, and out of that came our new product line, Berry Fun Yarns.
Berry Fun Yarns are dyed naturally, without the use of toxic chemicals. The colors are coaxed out of the beautiful plants and flowers (or even coffee that Grandpa drinks!) that fill the fields of Firefly Berries. We do purchase a small amount (less than 10%) of our dyestuff in extract form from trusted U.S. dyestuff companies, as there are a few colors that are more difficult to find in nature.
Dyeing yarn naturally is different than using acid dyes in many ways, but the most striking to the dyer is that naturally dyed yarns are highly sensitive to the pH of the water used both in the dyeing and washing process. A slight change in the pH of the water can yield an entirely different color. Because of this, we recommend handwashing all Berry Fun Yarn in cool or tepid water with a pH neutral soap like Eucalan. Once we dye the yarn, we do wash and reskein every hank to assure the dye has both set and is easy for the customer to work with. We also recommend storing your yarn and finished products out of direct sunlight.
If for some reason you find that even after caring for your yarn in this fashion, you are unhappy with the colorfastness of the product, please contact us first. Do NOT try to set the dye with a citric acid soak or vinegar. These work great with acid dyes, but because of the pH change, could very likely change the color of your yarn or finished product.
The other unique quality of dyeing yarn naturally is that it is often difficult to repeat the exact same color, even with care made to use the same water, mordants and modifiers. Why? Very simply, nature is ever changing. As farmers we see this in our fruit every year. A year of little rain will cause berries to be sweeter, as the sugar is more concentrated in the fruit…. A year of too much rain can cause fruit to taste a bit more waterlogged. Since our dye colors come from plants, they too can be affected by rain amounts and soil quality. We will always do our best to repeat loved colorways with careful notes, but it is likely each batch will be unique and may have slight differences in color. Keeping this in mind, please be sure to order all the yarn you need for a specific project. If you need to place a special order for a larger project, we are happy to work with you… just let us know!
Finally… just like fruit is seasonal and we do not have fresh strawberries in December, so too will the colors offered through Berry Fun Yarns be seasonal. We will do our best to dry and freeze dyestuff as is possible, but some lovely colors may just not be available in the dead of winter. We hope that this will not frustrate you, but rather inspire you to appreciate the beauty that is available each season.
As always, we welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions. We want you to be 100% satisfied! You can contact us via phone at (507) 252-1309 or through the form on the “contact us” page.
Check out the yarn that is available for purchase right now in our online shop!