Ro is a natural dyeing company based in South West England, in the UK. Ro specialises in British breed-specific, non-superwash yarns.
About the dyer
I'm Yanna, the natural dyer behind Ro. I continue to be amazed by the variety and beauty of colours that we can create from natural dyestuff, drawing on centuries of knowledge and experimentation. I want to spread the wonder of natural dyeing by selling naturally dyed yarn and fabric, as well as by creating and sharing kits and videos.
About the dyes
All my dyes come from natural materials and have undergone minimal processing. All come from plant parts, such as leaves, petals, roots, and bark, with the exception of cochineal, which comes from insects.
I buy most of my dyestuff as powder or extracts, making the transport carbon footprint as small as possible. I try to source as much of the dyestuff as possible as locally, although this is sometimes a challenge with many great dye plants not being native to Britain or Europe.
I also forage or collect some dyestuff from my surroundings, being careful to leave plenty for wildlife. I use these to dye the foraged collection, available in very limited quantities.
About the yarn
As I am an avid knitter, I have started my natural dye shop with yarn. All the yarns are made of wool shorn from sheep grown in the UK, as well as processed and milled in the UK. They are all breed-specific, and some are single-farm yarns. I do this because I want to keep the miles that the yarn has travelled from sheep to dyeing as little as possible, as well as to support my local economy of sheep farmers and mills (not because I think British sheep and mills are superior to others). I have chosen only to use non-superwash yarns as a way to avoid plastic and retain the great natural properties of wool.
For the time being, not all yarns will be stocked year-round. I am working on a separate page about the yarns, which will show you which are available when. In time, I hope this will include limited edition yarns in small quantities. These are a great way to showcase yarn from smaller farms.
About the fabric
I am hoping to extend my offering to naturally dyed fabric soon. I am working on sourcing a fabric that is made as locally as possible and using environmentally conscious methods. Watch this space!
About the packaging
My yarn labels are made of 100% recycled paper that has been (re-)manufactured without any additional chlorine-based bleach. It is produced at Frogmore Mill in the UK using a 1902 Fourdrinier, the world's first mechanised paper-making machine.
The mailing boxes consist of at least 75% recycled fibres. The tissue paper is acid-free and up to 100% recycled. Both are recyclable, as is any paper tape used to seal them.
About energy, water, and other resources
My home "studio" is powered by electricity and gas from a supplier called Good Energy, which means that my electricity is matched by electricity generated entirely from renewable sources. Any gas that I use (heated tap water, which I use very little of in the yarn-dyeing process) is "neutralised" (aka off-set) through investment in carbon reduction schemes.
I use water from my regional water supplier. The majority of water comes from surface water sources (reservoirs, canals, rivers), with the rest being groundwater. I aim to re-use as much of the soaking water, scouring water, mordant baths, dye baths, and rinsing water as I can without compromising the quality of the end-product. In future, I hope to harvest rainwater for use in the dyeing process, as well as possibly filter and re-using rinsing water in particular.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow me on Instagram (@ro.dyeworks). I'll soon be adding videos on YouTube and a Ravelry site and group, where you can get more of an insight into Ro, natural dyeing, knitting, embroidery, and my other creative pursuits.