Following Carol Seberts’s discovery of some incredible natural dyeing expertise in Nepal in March, we are excited to announce our first natural dye collection. We’ll be bringing the first rug to show off at NYICS in September and rolling out the full collection quickly thereafter. And here is a sneak peak at the design of the first rug.
|Percolate in mulberry|
Designed by Ange Yake ©Creative Matters
The rug itself it is still in the weaving process, but here are some incredible photos of the wool at the dyeing mill. The dyeing stage alone, can take as long as two weeks.
The dyeing process starts with the preparation of the colour. The dye master tests and mixes the natural dyes making up a batch for each colour required in a rug. Tibetan dye masters have acquired a deep knowledge of the natural dyeing materials over many generations but due to the popularity of chemicals dyes, this traditional art came close to being wiped out.
When the dye master has achieved the correct colour, the yarn is placed in the hot dye where it is cooked for shorter or longer periods of time and at higher or lower temperatures, depending on the dye and the shade desired.
Once the dye master is satisfied with the tones the wool has taken on, s/he pulls the steamy bundle from the pot. Over 170 plants have been short-listed for dying use in Nepal, including: indigo, mulberry, saffron, turmeric, rhubarb roots and walnut. Madder root is often used for red hues.
Smaller quantities of wool are dyed in the pot and handled manually. Heavier quantities are loaded onto a spindle which is turned by hand to dip the wool into the dye time and time again.
When natural dyes are handled correctly, even in skeins of yarn not yet woven, the colours are simply beautiful.
Here the dye master in Nepal is showing us in Toronto how the dried wool now matches the colour specified in our design.A dye master - like a good winemaker - must be a chemist and a microbiologist with a working knowledge of botany, geology, meteorology and plant physiology. We’re delighted to have finally found a dye master who can meet the exacting standards of Creative Matters.