Creating Depth of Colour
A sweetie shop for a colour lover, this is the dye lab at the Todd & Duncan spinning mill in Kinross, Scotland where our yarn is spun. We always use Todd & Duncan yarn, because they produce the most beautiful selection of colours, their quality and service are second to none, they operate with 100% care for the environment and they are lovely people. Every colour that they have ever dyed is stored here, it is their colour library. Todd & Duncan colours have a depth to them, they are not always flat colour and a lot of work goes into creating them.
The raw fleece is dyed a pure colour and they will then card and spin perhaps five different colours together, this gives the finished yarn a depth of colour and if you look closely you will see all the colours it’s made from. This is called a mélange. Carding is a mechanical process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres to produce a continuous web or sliver suitable for subsequent processing. This is achieved by passing the fibres between differentially moving surfaces covered with wire teeth for disentangling and cleaning textile fibres. It breaks up locks and unorganised clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibres to be parallel with each other. The word card is derived from the Latin carduus meaning thistle or teasel, as dried vegetable teasels were first used to comb the raw wool before industrial carding machines were introduced.
We love to design with a mixture of mélange and flat colour. Our subtle colours tend to be melanges and our bright colours tend to be flat colour. Using this combination makes the bright colours pop out on our designs.
Another technique we use, is to marl the yarn, this is when you take two colours already spun from the shade card and spin them together to create a tweed look. It takes a lot of experimentation as it can be hard to visualize. We do this by taking two small pieces of different coloured yarn and twisting them together.
We are all about wool and colour.