Indie Dyer Spotlight: Oink Pigments
Pigs and puns—those are the two words that triggered the branding of an American-made yarn-dyeing business. Helena, Alexa, and Julie of Oink Pigments came together as friends and fiber lovers and became business partners who have a love for pigs and puns.
When the trio started their business, they established that it was important to keep their product made in America—from sheep to shelf—as much as possible. Most of the fiber farms and all of the mills they work with are in the United States. There are a few fibers that they have to source from other countries. “Silk has been cultivated in China for thousands and thousands of years, and they’ve really perfected the art of breeding those little magic worms. U.S.-grown silk is nearly impossible to find, very expensive, and inferior in quality. If it were feasible to have 100 percent of all our products made in America, we absolutely would do that. It’s important to us to support the American wool industry and promote American wool,” Helena says.
Dyeing yarn sounds like a purely creative job, but the reality is that the trio has to revert back to their high school math and science classes once in awhile. Helena explains, “Much like baking, there’s a lot more mathematical precision involved than most people think . . . playing with color and doing chemistry every day is pretty spectacular.”
Helena, Alexa, and Julie spend a lot of time running the business, but they know it’s worth it when the people the work with on a day-to-day basis are women-owned LYSs and fellow fiber fanatics. The company dress code also helps: “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s pretty great to have a job that involves wearing sweats almost every day!” Helena exclaims.
With a motto like “No dying, only dyeing,” this lively trio was destined to end up together!
Krista Ann is a knitwear designer living in Los Angeles. Follow her on Instagram @KnitsyKnits and find her book, Knits That Rock: Vol. 1 (self-published, 2018), on her website (www.KnitsyKnits.com) or on Ravelry @KnitsyKnits.
Make sure to check out the rest of knitscene Winter 2018!
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