Simone Cross, the talented dyer behind Gum Blossom Yarns, is a scientist who loves to knit and crochet.
She has been a part of medical research into the effects of plant extracts on infection and disease for over 16 years. Now she applies those same research skills to finding new, attractive and sustainable yarn dyes. In particular, Simone went searching for softer, more natural yarn colours than those offered by commercial or synthetic hand-dyeing methods.
Simone began experimenting with dyeing yarn using native eucalypts, berries, herbs, seeds, flowers and (gum)nuts foraged in her local area of Brisbane, Australia. To her surprise, most of the plants yielded a full range of soft complementing and neutral yarn colours - the perfect basis for any wardrobe.
Seasonal flowers, seeds and berries enhance these neutral colours and are appropriate for that particular season. Like eating fruit when it is ripe on the vine, Simone finds wearing garments dyed in nature's seasonal colours is both luscious and pleasing. Most of these environmental colours also have antimicrobial and moth repellent properties.
It occurred to her how sustainable this dye method has been throughout history and culture. Some of these yarn dyes are made by "weeds" in the local area whose berries or flowers are seen after rainfall. Simone was both helping propagate local plant species and harvesting colour at the same time!
Many of the locally-sourced leaves smell of natural eucalyptus, lemon or herb oils which is great for allergy/asthma sufferers. Each skein of yarn is given a final restoring soak in an Australian wool wash containing a combination of lemon myrtle and tea tree oils, which both smells beautiful and repels moths.
Gum Blossom Yarns uses only Australian-sourced merino yarns which are then pot-dyed directly with untreated sustainable live plant material.