Naturally dyed yarns from the heart of Denmark

Holstebro, Denmark | 62 Sales


Naturally dyed yarns from the heart of Denmark

Holstebro, Denmark 62 Sales On Etsy since 2015

5 out of 5 stars
Astrid Colding Sivertsen

Contact shop owner

Astrid Colding Sivertsen


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
View all 14 reviews


Natural dyeing in the heart of Denmark

In Norse mythology, Midgaard is the part of the world where we humans live. The name has an added meaning for me, in my personal thinking it also means right here, where I am, right now. As such, the name fits my yarns, since they are made right here, in the middle of Mainland Denmark, and their specific color could not be achieved anywhere else since the water used (both rain and tap) influences the colors achieved in natural dyeing.

For the first millennia of human history, any color on textiles was natural. Colors were not easy to come by, so any splash of color was much longed for, and many times, it was for the elite. That all changed in 1856, when the first synthetic dye was made from chemicals found in oil.

So why even use natural dyes, when there exists such a range of chemical easy-to-use, wash and light fast colors?

Well, first of all, I believe in colors from renewable sources - and that certainly is the case with any plant material that grows anyway, in a forest or by the side of the road. It's also the case with animal and lichen dyes, although in that case, the gift that we receive from nature (or, decide to take) is a bigger one.

Secondly, I think that living colors from natural dyes are simply more beautiful. They glow from within in a way that synthetic stuff just never does. It is true that some natural colors can fade - or mellow, like a pair of well-loved jeans, but as long as they outlive the material they are on, all is good.

My original training is in molecular biology, and for some years, I made a living trekking the Globe (with my furniture) to take temporary positions in research. Those were fun years of learning, but now I'm finally back in Denmark. I am now supplementing my education with more biology to become a high school teacher.

A good proportion of my time is spent daydreaming about natural dyeing and new knitting designs. I enjoy the process where I dye the specific colors that make a certain design possible.

Around the web

Shop members

  • Astrid Colding Sivertsen

    Owner, Creator, Designer

    My knitting designs draw on a mix of inspirations from traditional Japanese and Scandinavian patterns, and I love clever knitting techniques. My love of natural dyes has grown gradually from a wish for sustainability and love for the natural world.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on Dec 7, 2017
Frequently asked questions
What's so special about naturally dyed yarn?

Ordinary yarns and fabrics are dyed with synthetic dyes - that means chemicals that often come from oil, and a made in a chemical plant. There are thousands of dyes like that, some of them very safe, some of them being questioned. When you buy ordinarily dyed products, there is no way of telling which dye was used.

Our yarn is dyed with natural substances only. That means plants, insects, mushrooms and even lichens. Whether picked in nature or bought from tropical growers, natural dyes are renewable resources. The only other substance we add to our yarn is alum, which is a salt that fixes the dye to the fiber. Alum has been used for this very purpose since Antiquity.

Where can I read more about natural dyeing?

You can find a lot of information on natural dyeing on our webpage, midgaardshave.com

That sounds good, but are the colors fast?

We use the best natural dyes in terms of wash- and lightfastness. But they do not behave the same way that synthetic colors do. Some, especially yellows, may slightly fade and mellow over time. Others may have an initial rub-off, but then stay light- and washfast after that. Madder and especially indigo behave this way - this has been known for centuries if not millenia, and is not considered a flaw in the product.

What are the limitations of natural dyeing?

Our yarns are special and one-of a kind. We dye in very small batches, and furthermore, natural dyeing is inherently unpredictable. If knitting larger projects, we recommend changing between skeins every couple of rows.

Even when dyeing the same base yarn with the same dyestuff, results cannot be replicated. If your project requires multiple skeins, make sure to order them all at one time - we are happy to take custom orders if the yarn/amount you wish is not currently in stock.

Since yarn and dyestuffs come in close contact during dyeing, dyestuff dust or bits of plant matter can occur in the yarn. Also, colors are not always completely even, but we find that just adds a bit of personality.