It’s “Weigh Day”!
There is a lot of discussion among society regarding transparency within the clothing and textile industries, including how things are made and priced. When we are pricing pieces, prices are based on three things: the weight of fibre, the length of time it takes to create a piece (labour), and dyeing costs (materials and time). I’ve always felt this pricing method is fair and transparent as it reflects the different material and process costs, and even more so, the cost of labour.
No matter the piece, labour is always the most significant price factor, which makes sense when you consider our pieces are “yarn forward factory free”.
I always feel it is important, and interesting, to know about how things are made. It is part of the story of our knitwear.
As we continue with #marchmeetthemaker, the next theme to discuss is “Time” . Such an interesting topic. In creating ethical textiles, everything takes a lot of time. Designing. Prepping . Dyeing. Knitting. Finishing.
Time is also a huge factor in how items are priced. Pricing of items is based solely on two factors, the materials used, and the time it takes to produce a piece. Each piece is weighed to determine the amount of materials used, and timed for the labor allowance when determining price. The most expensive portion of creating a piece is the actual time spent making the piece.
Certain types of pieces have higher price points reflecting the time spent creating it. Large pieces, like scarves, take longer to knit. Technical pieces, like a sweater, take a very long time, as can textured or fine knit pieces. Dyed pieces can be the most expensive, due to the fibre prep, dyeing, and skeining; naturally dyed pieces are very labor intensive.
Time is a major factor in the world of handcrafted ethical knitwear.
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Indigo, is one of the most loved colors. The calming blue tones are a favourite with customers year after year. While most people are familiar with indigo in its denim form, indigo dyed wool knitwear is also striking.
Indigo is interesting as the color is built up over multiple dips, interspersed with oxidization periods. Dip after dip the color gets deeper and deeper. Depending on the length of the dip time, and the number of dips, colors from light blue to dark blues can be achieved.
Today we are hand dyeing Canadian produced and milled wool in natural indigo. Hand dyeing allows us to work in small batches, creating minimal waste, while providing a unique color depth with each batch we dye.
It will be many days before this yarn is ready to use, as once dyeing is complete, the yarn must then wait 24 hours before being washed. The wool yarn is then left to dry naturally. Once fully dry, the yarn is de-tangled and rolled by hand, and then rolled a second time into a cake-shaped skein suitable for creating knits with.
Time and craftsmanship is the foundation for all the pieces we create. Carefully chosen fibres and yarns, hand dyeing, and our own creative designs are brought together into handcrafted pieces.
Natural dyeing day. Today I am dyeing with osage wood chips. The wood chips are steeped , much like tea, before beginning the dyeing process. This natural dye will provide a yellow color to the organic cotton knits that will be dyed over the next few days.
Natural dyeing is a slow process. It is not unusual for pieces to spend days in the dye pot with adjustments being made. Each dyeing session provides slightly different results, part of the joy of creating natural fashion.
New spring and summer cotton pieces coming soon to the shop.