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Traditional Dyeing Materials at Dirt Woman Fiber Arts

Shore Cardigan Workshop & KAL Starts 9/23
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Dirt Woman Fiber Arts is pleased to offer traditional cochineal and indigo for hand-dyeing yarns and fiber from Bugs & Roots, our proprietary label.
Cochineal by Bugs & Roots™

Cochineal is used for cardinal red-to-lavender shades.  Cochineal is an insect, Dactylopius coccus, that grows on cacti.  Only the females contain the dye.  After the cochineal are collected and sexed, they are sun-dried to preserve them and prepare them for use. 

The first photo is of the cochineal itself; the second illustrates some of the dye shades we've obtained with it.  The shades are especially responsive to pH.  There are many historical, time-tested methods for using cochineal to dye yarn and fiber, and variables you can use to develop your own color palette.

$28 for 1/4 lb
(4 ounces)
$50 for 1/2 lb
(8 ounces)
$70 for 1 lb
(16 ounces)

Cochineal
Cochineal-Dyed Yarn
Sizes
Indigo Dye Powder by Bugs & Roots™

Natural indigo dye powder is used for blue shades.  The indigo plant, Indigofera tinctoria, is soaked in water, agitated to extract the dye, and dried into cakes, which are ground into powder.  This is the indigo that requires a brief fermentation to dye yarn and fiber. 

The first photo is of the indigo dye powder itself; the second illustrates some of the shades we've achieved with it.  The greens are from indigo dyed over chamomile. 

We supply indigo to the Weaver's Shop in the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area, where it is used to demonstrate traditional dyeing techniques.  There are many historical, time-tested methods for using indigo to dye yarn and fiber, and variables you can use to develop your own color palette.

$15 for 1/4 lb
(4 ounces)
$27 for 1/2 lb
(8 ounces)
$50 for 1.1 lb
(17.6 oz/.5 kg)

Indigo
Indigo-Dyed Yarn
Sizes