Indigo Chunky Lite

100% wool  –  Indigo Chunky Lite yarn dyed in a fermentation Indigo vat right here on the farm.

The Yarn

  • 100% Purebred Columbia Wool
  • 2 ply Chunky Lite
  • ~220 yards/4 oz (112g)

The Natural Dye

  • Un-mordanted yarn dyed in an Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) Vat prepared in a Madder (Rubio cordifolia) bath

Washing

  • Hand wash or gentle machine cycle
  • warm/warm small load
  • inside out in sized delicates bag is good practice (not too loose, not too snug)
  • no bleach
  • dry flat

This is Josh, one of  the purebred Columbia sheep whose fleece forms the base of this Indigo Chunky Lite natural dyed yarn.

Josh is a Wether, so his only job is to grow beautiful fleece. The fleece is spun on an antique mule spinner, one of only a few left in North America. It is a mule as in a crossbred, but in this case instead of a cross between a horse and a donkey, its a cross between the new technology and the old. The resulting yarn is loftier and softer than the same fibre spun on modern draw frames. When the yarn is freshly spun it is more of a worsted or even worsted light weight. The process of dyeing, washing and rinsing relaxes its loftiness, and the finished yarn more closely resembles a chunky light weight.

I made this small, laborious batch with an Indigo Vat. I first made a Madder bath for the reducing agent to convert the insoluble Indigo powder into a soluble form that can be taken up and fixed by the yarn. The resulting yarn is the same denim colour world renowned as the base of blue jeans. Different shades of blue are obtained by dipping the yarn in the vat for shorter or longer times, and by adding more or few dips.

 

Purebred Columbia Wether Josh