Sumac trees are native to North America, and can be found on many a roadside or forest edge throughout Ontario. In addition to providing excellent food for native birds, sumac berries are a gorgeous dye plant. I carefully forage the berries (making sure to leave enough for the birds) from around Toronto, and use them in my dye pot to create a stunning range of browns and greys.
A Note of Natural Dyes
Natural dyes are sources of colour derived from plants, minerals, and in some cases insects. Not only is natural dyeing a fascinating and magical experience, but it the process can have a lesser impact on the environment than dyeing with synthetic dyes, many of which contain petroleum derivatives. All skeins of Westlake yarn are dyed with natural dyes, some foraged, some grown in my backyard garden, some grown for me by local farmers, and some purchased as ground powder.
I use several methods in my dyeing process to ensure the yarn is colourfast (will not fade with washing or exposure to light), including using mordants, and carefully selecting my dye plants. That said, the colour may change slightly over the years. I see this as part of the evolution of an heirloom quality product that is ultimately biodegradable.
As with all hand dyed yarns, there will be variation in colour and variegation between skeins, especially for the hand painted colours. If your project requires more than one skein, I would recommend knitting them both at the same time, alternating one row of each, to make sure the colours are distributed more evenly.
Each Westlake Fibres yarn is hand dyed with care in a smoke- free environment.
Please note that colours may appear different on different monitors. I've made every attempt to photograph the colours accurately, however they may be a slightly different shade than your monitor shows.
All items are shipped from Canada by Regular Air Mail. This is the most economical shipping option, so it does not include tracking. If you would like to upgrade your shipping to Express Mail (tracking and insurance included), please send me a message and I'd be happy to set that up for you.