Renaissance Dyeing is a small family business dedicated to embroidery and knitting wool to dye with plants. Our range is made up of more than 110 colors of fine wool and naturally dyed embroidery threads and an increasing number of shades of Poll Dorset organic wool. The dyeing workshop and winding machines are housed in two barns in a village in the foothills of the French Pyrenees. I, Andie Luijk, am in charge of vegetable dyes and promotional activities, while my husband, Adriaan, is in charge of the skeinings and labelling.
The family is and has always been strongly involved in ecology and sustainable development. The wool used by Renaissance Dyeing is obtained from organic farms or low carbon footprint. The dye plants are also local and cultivated or harvested in a sustainable way. Only mordants with low ecological impact are used.
For centuries, humans in their creativity knew that plants produced attractive and harmonious colors that had good characteristics of solidity. As much as possible at Renaissance Dyeing, we work with plant materials, some like madder and pastel are harvested in our own garden. For the blue color in the main range, we use indigo and pastel in the range of Elizabethan embroidery threads. Garance, cochineal, logwood and brazilwood are used for pinks, reds, oranges and purples, dry and sometimes fresh pieces of reseda and fustic for yellows. Oak bark, onion skins and cachou are used for browns. The colors have good washing and light fastness, if they are well maintained (as with all textiles, do not let your work dye too long exposed to sunlight)