Celebrate your passion for color with Colorways

A note from Kathleen: Interweave's spinning and knitting eMag Editor, Anne Merrow, is our guest today to introduce the newest in Interweave's group of interactive digital eMags for spinners, dyers, and other fiber artists, Colorways.

Colorways looks closely at all the ways color meets cloth. The eMag format uses photos to show you rich palettes, video to introduce you to the fascinating people who make color their professional passion, interactivity to bring you face-to-face with new experiences, and three downloadable PDF recipes for building your own skills as a fiber artist.

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Cotton grows in all these colors—naturally!

The Many Sources of Nature's Color

With the amazing range of colors that yarns come in, it might be hard to imagine using just natural colors. Using plants, insects, and minerals to create colors seems like part alchemy, part miracle.

But in the first issue of Colorways, Chris Conrad demonstrates how to use kakishibu—fermented persimmon juice—to dye yarns. Without any heat, mordant, or other chemicals, the kakishibu creates shades of red and brown that deepen and richen (rather than fade) in sunlight.

Ever wonder how the organic cotton yarns you see get their unusual hues? Well, they're bred that way! Stephenie Gaustad explains where the colors come from and how to care for those yarns and fabrics—and even, if you're so inclined, how to grow colored cotton yourself.

Spacer 10x10 pixels An array of reds
  An array of reds, all made from cochineal bugs
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My favorite color is red. (I'm currently wearing a red shirt, in fact…) Red alls out to me—stops me in my tracks. Did you know that cochineal—the source of brilliant reds for hundreds of years before the development of synthetic dyes—is made from bugs?

In an era when we can use powdered drink mix to dye yarns fruity red, it's hard to imagine gleaning shades of crimson only by coaxing it from crushed insects. (Legend has it that the red coats of Revolutionary-era British soldiers—the officers, at least—got their famous color from cochineal.) Even though dyeing with cochineal is an old process, there are still dyers who use it today, from modern dye studios in California to family weaving cooperatives in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The first issue of Colorways focuses on natural colors: artisans working in the old tradition of plant-based dyes; cotton growing in shades from pure white to startling green and mauve; a Seattle entrepreneur helping weavers use their natural colors in new ways; woad, the shocking blue made famous in Braveheart, serenaded by Alden Amos and Stephenie Gaustad.

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Explore the world of color in fiber—from tan to Technicolor. Download your issue of Colorways today!

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