Blue Dog Natural Dye House was born out of a love of color, yarn, and a rescue dog named Winston who insisted on being included in the dye process
(and served as our model for naturally-dyed bandanas and t-shirts). Dana is the creative force behind Blue Dog.
We're based in Providence, Rhode Island.
Winston is a rescued Old English Bulldog/Pitbull mix.
We often refer to him as our CEO.
Natural dyes include dyes from nature, such as botanicals (flowers, leaves, nuts, and trees) and bugs (like cochineal) that, when combined with ingredients (many of which you can find in your grocery store) can be used to coax beautiful colors onto fiber. The amazing thing about natural dyes? Every single color blends together.
Using natural dyes enables me to dye in the most environmentally-friendly way possible, while using products from my garden, nearby farms, and other companies committed to sustainability. My own dye garden includes indigo, cosmos, coreopsis, marigolds, and roses. Natural dying also has a long and rich history, and I find that the colors I get from natural dyes are unique from synthetic dyes in terms of the colors and in ways I can heighten or tone down the vibrancy. All dyes are colorfast, which means they fade in the sun. So naturally-dyed fabrics, just like synthetically-dyed fabrics, will fade in the sun. However, I try to use natural dyes that have proven to be colorfast and lightfast, as well as up to multiple washes. (See washing instructions.) I stay away from the more experimental dye stuffs that may not last as long.
Each Blue Dog Dye comes with a care instructions card. To keep your Blue Dog Dye for years to come:
All products are pre-washed and ironed prior to purchase.
Please note that indigo-dyed yarn and fabric can make your skin temporarily blue due to the friction of wearing or working with it. (Think about your jeans if they are indigo-dyed and how they may run in the first few washes or turn your legs semi-blue!) This is totally normal and it comes off with soap and water. It is by no means permanent!
As a longtime knitter, I started taking dyeing classes during the Covid pandemic, and I found dyeing my own yarn exactly the color that I wanted it to be incredibly satisfying. In a few months, I made dyeing a new hobby that started taking up my evenings and weekends. As I built my first dye garden, I fell in love with natural dyes, and there was no going back.
The State of Rhode Island has granted an artistic tax exemption on all products that we sell when you order directly through Blue Dog Natural Dye House.
Due to our small inventory and as a small business just getting started, we have limited our direct shipping to within the United States for now. We will be looking into shipping outside of the United States as we continue to grow. If you are interested in purchasing our products and live outside of the United States, please let us know through the Contact Us form on our website!
Yes! If you have a pair of jeans that you'd like to re-dip in indigo or an old shirt or scarf that deserves a new life, I am happy to help you. Send me a message!
As consumers, we're not always aware of the damage we're doing to the environment in buying that 20th pair of jeans or throwing out old clothes. At least, I didn't, until I started reading up on it. Everyone has a role to play in sustainability, and this is my small way of contributing.