At Ardalanish, we believe in using natural wool and dyes in the production of our woven and knitted products.
We take our cue from the natural colour of the fleeces we use. There are three key colours available to us:
- Hebridean – the distinctive dark/black colour of the sheep found in this part of the world
- Shetland – the well-known white/creamy colours of the sheep from the northern isle
- Manx Loaghtan – native of the Isle of Man, they produce dark brown fleeces which in turn give a cinnamon/toffee colours in woollen/woven products.
Natural wool colours provide the basis for all our subsequent palette of colours, which can be obtained in two ways: blending or dyeing.
Blending is basically using the three primary colours to obtain derived colours such as grey or coffee. Our Burach colour is obtained by mixing all three primary wools. “Bùrach” in Scottish Gaelic literally means “mess”.
We are great believers in working with what we have and looking to nature for inspiration which is why we use natural dyes for accent colours in our patterns and products.
Amongst those, we use the leaves of woad plants (from the Brassicaceae family) for the full range of blue, madder root for colours scarlet, carmine red, pink to red with a bluish tint, and onion for yellow hues.
Dyeing wool is an ancient process and takes time and attention, but the results are well worth the effort and continue to inspire us to try new weaves and patterns.