Nov 19

Scrap of the week #26


This is another little something I nabbed at the Selvedge Winter Fair.

Dyeworks scrap bundle

It set me back all of a fiver: not bad for Chelsea! But just feast your eyes on the scrumptious array of naturally dyed linen and hemp scraps. They really are textile treasure, the handiwork of Polly Lyster of Dyeworks, based almost in my neck of the woods in Gloucestershire. Polly is a dyer who also sells wonderful antique textiles. You may have seen her featured in the pages of Selvedge magazine. Her wares are impeccable; even her card is simply beautiful, painstakingly printed on an old-fashioned letterpress.

Dyeworks scraps

Polly went through all the scraps with me, kindly telling me what product had been used to dye each piece. Foolishly, I didn’t write it all down at the time and forgot some of what she said in all the Selvedge excitement. but I remember that the top one is madder, the yellow has some onion skin. Most have been dyed and then over-dyed, so colours achieved are endlessly, subtly variable.

What will I use them for? Well, I may combine them patchworkily with some indigos bought last year at the quilt show in Birmingham. I’d love to embroider on them. They are so tactile that they positively cry out to be handled, so I think they’d make lovely purses or tool wraps. I’m imagining these would come in handy should I ever be called on to visibly mend an antique shepherd’s smock. Yes, a little unlikely, but you never know. Don’t you think that the next time Monty Don snags an ugly hedge tear in his favourite Old Town gardening jacket, this type of fabric would make the ideal start to an artisanal patch repair? Nothing too perfect, mind. Do keep watching Gardeners’ World and just remember that you heard it suggested here first!


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  1. Helen says:

    Gorgeous – I want to reach in and touch them! Had no idea that natural dyes like madder and onion could produce such vibrant colours.

  2. scrapiana says:

    The handle is amazing., Helen. Yes, the colours almost glow. I'd love to know more about the dyeing processes.

  3. knitsofacto says:

    These are so pretty! Oh to make one's living dyeing cloth!

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