We have started a great new line of shawls called The Naturals. These shawls are hand woven using only hand spun yarn made from natural fibers - wool, mohair, llama and alpaca – either in their natural colors or dyed by us using historical natural dyes. These are shawls perfect for re-enactors from any period in history because they contain no polyester or other industrially created fibers. These are sturdy, thick shawls meant to keep you warm more than as a topper to your favorite little black dress. Now don’t get me wrong – they are all beautiful but they are designed with function first in mind rather than beauty. Think letting the kids wrap up in one on the floor to watch TV or tossing one in the back seat of the car in case you need it later.
So far we have shawls woven with yarn dyed with indigo, madder and cochineal. Indigo is found in the leaves of several different plants and is the blue of blue jeans. Madder comes from the roots of the madder bush and varies from light orange to dark orangey-red. Cochineal comes from a small scale insect that infests cactus. It gives a crimson red and has been used for years in food and cosmetics as well as to dye fiber. And we have lots more hand spun natural dyed yarn ready to go! Next up will be the beige, soft tan and light brown of walnut husks and oak galls and the yellow and gold of marigolds, Osage orange and onion skins.
The fleeces from sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas come in many natural colors. White, light grey, medium grey, dark charcoal grey, black, brown, red brown, beige and fawn are all available right off the animal. We have spun most of those colors and they will all go into our shawls.
The first three Naturals shawls are up on the website and I’m working on a beautiful twill shawl in natural grey right now…