A lovely, naturally-dyed wool is now available from France. A crewel weight wool
Renaissance Wool (
If you’ve ever had a lambswool sweater, you’ll know what I mean when I say it is superbly soft in the skein, a softness that translate into full stitches on the canvas. I was just stitching on 12 mesh with 3 strands and it looks like a single strand of a much thicker wool. According to their website, the thread is “spun especially for us in Yorkshire, England, it is a 24/2 worsted lamb’s wool ply with wonderful handle and an astonishing resistance to thinning and ‘fluffing’.” It comes in 25m skeins and 100m and 250m hanks. There are 100 colors, with as many as five colors in some families.
Twenty-five of them are in the Elizabethan Range, a set of colors dyed with the dyes and mordants available in the Sixteenth Century.
The threads are naturally dyed, a process that creates color of more complexity than chemically-dyed threads, as well as colors that harmonize together. The company suggests using more than one color in a needle (called needle-blending) to extend the color choices.
On their website, they have several 12 packs of colors that work together. There is also a different color set of naturally-dyed embroidery floss (listed as mouline) and packs with instrutions for projects. New textile packs are added regularly.
Although you might think naturally-dyed threads are too dull to work in modern designs, there are lovely rich colors, including some brights. This beautiful thread is worth seeking out.