Creative Crafters- Brambles & Me

Image: Brambles & Me 

 

Tell me more about your craft? What is it?

I am an independent yarn dyer and I use only natural materials to dye the yarns. I mainly use natural dye extracts which give me the ability to create bright, vibrant colours that I can replicate year-round. I do use the local environment to forage some materials, but I only use dyestuffs that are known to have strong light and wash fastness.

When did you find out you were good at it?

After having my little girl in 2012 I found my creative spark, designing and making handbags and clothes. By 2016 I decided to return to university to follow my dreams and graduate with a BA (Hons) Degree. I began my degree in Fashion Design and it was during my first term I discovered hand dyeing and block printing of fabrics. I was also re-taught knitting and I fell in love with the process of creating my own garments and accessories.

Throughout the first 2 years of my degree, I manipulated the fabrics to achieve my designs and realised, I much preferred a textiles approach to my work, I was also constantly knitting in any spare time I had.

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Image: Brambles & Me 

Why did you decide to turn into a business?

As part of the 2nd year of my degree, I was required to write an essay focusing on the impact the fashion and textiles industry has on the environment. This truly shocked me, and I decided to follow a more ethical and environmental approach to my work. During the summer after my 2nd year, I enrolled in an online natural dyeing course and received a certificate upon completion.

After completing the natural dye course, I realised I no longer wanted to focus on fashion design, so I changed and I’m now completing my final year doing Creative Enterprise. This aspect of the degree is as the name suggests very business focused and as such it is helping me to build my natural dye business. I am focusing my dissertation on how dyes were used in history, through to the advent of synthetic dyes and the impact they had on the environment.

To put it simply, I chose to turn this into my business because I love the natural world and I am passionate about protecting it and providing an alternative to the commercial yarns currently available.

Tell us more about the process, the step by step process of your craft- From the concept to the final product.

Dyeing yarn naturally requires a few crucial steps to ensure the colours remain as strong and as vibrant as when they are dyed. (All of my yarns come with a care guideline card.) The yarns must be cleaned, and fixative applied to allow the natural dyes to adhere. There are many dyes that are fugitive, meaning they won’t last over time either by washing or purely fading from the light. To the best of my ability, I only use dyes that are known to have strong light and wash fastness and quite often use dyes documented in histories such as Madder and Indigo

The concept for my yarns is Mother Nature, I want to showcase the stunning colours she has to offer. I love our little family camping trips, which are the inspiration behind many of my colourway and base names.

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Image: Brambles & Me 

Where do you sell your product?

I sell my yarns and merchandise through the shop on my website

I also visit local yarn shops to do Meet the Maker events where I take my yarns for people to have a squish and to buy, they can also just come to meet me and ask any questions.

I am starting to vend at yarn festivals this year, the first one being The Wool Monty in June in Sheffield.

Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?

Yes, as part of my degree I did some research into the trends surrounding the craft sector. There has been a large increase in Millennials (people aged approximately 23-38) wanting a slower approach to life. Many people after seeing The Blue Planet documentary about the plastics in the oceans are now looking to create their own items and to support local and independent makers to provide a more sustainable approach to living.

What is the crafting industry like?

The craft industry is vast there are makers from all walks of life involved in every aspect. There are of course the large commercial companies but more importantly, there is now a growing sector of independent makers in the industry.

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Image: Brambles & Me 

Do you recommend people starting up their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?

I will always recommend people turn their hand to some form of crafting, it has been proven to benefit your health and well being as well as being something fun. I would only recommend people to set up a business if they have done copious amounts of research into the chosen area to make sure it will meet their expectations. Being a business owner can be hard work as it’s not just the designing and creating that is involved.

 

You can find  @bramblesandme on both Instagram and Facebook.

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