Maker Faire 09: Dying Yarn with Solar Power


Photos by Jaymi Heimbuch

I couldn't resist stopping by a booth that had piles of squishy, gorgeously dyed yarn, especially when their sign boasted that the yarn is dyed with solar power. I had to find out just what that meant...and squish some yarn.Ceallach Dyes is a new hand dyed yarn line that uses a simple box that captures the heat from the sun to set the dyes. Many dyers will use the microwave or oven, but this company has chosen to go renewable.

The box is simply lined with aluminum foil and covered in a glass lid. The heat generated is more than enough to gently set the dyes, avoiding the use of electricity generated from non-renewable, dirty sources.

The booth attendant said if they aren't using the box to dye yarns, they can bake cookies!

The dyes themselves are low-impact acid dyes "carefully selected for a low impact for the planet." The company doesn't go with plant-based dyes because they require large amounts of water for the process, and they live in an area that receives little rain and would prefer to keep a low impact on their waterways.

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Tags: Environmental Footprint | Maker Faire | Solar Power | Sustainable Fabrics