1st Newsletter: 2020 is the year to Rock 'n Wool!

I am so excited to be sending you this first newsletter of The Dutch Yarn Barn. Here is an overview of the topics :

  • About the dyer

  • Unravel Festival 21-23 February, UK

  • Wholesale Stephen & Penelope, Amsterdam

  • Redeveloping Dutch heritage yarns (a first limited edition!)

  • Agenda

  • Over de verfster en TDYB (in Dutch)

Natural dyer sitting in windowsill with dyestuffs in front of her 

About the dyer

As this is my first ever newsletter and post, I will take some time to introduce myself. A year and a half ago i made a conscious career switch to become a natural dyer.

Until then I had had a beautiful and successful singing career (in Bulgarian folklore & worldmusic) but a serious backhernia and unsustainable working conditions had me grounded. It was when lying flat on my back on the couch knitting, when i knew it was time to let go and change.

I started to think about all the other things that gave me energy and were within reach of my knowledge and experience and rediscovered my old love for herbs and natural dying.

Besides from being a singer for all of my life, my educational background is as a graduate of herbal therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, I hold a Masters degree in health science, and graduated in choirdirecting and voice coaching. When I started to dive into research about natural dyeing, I was immediately and completely hooked.

Natural dying had it all. Here was an ancient yet excitingly renewable craft that represented all things important to me: wools and yarns of regional and local source, Dutch folklore&tradition, inspiration from nature's colours, sustainability, craftsmanship, ethical business. As well as the connection of people from farm to fiber, from heart to heart, a limitless inspiration and creativity, the way that singing had always had been.

I established The Dutch Yarn Barn in our beautiful workshop – an old Dutch barn- here in Brummen in April 2019. I've started researching and developing my recipes with raw natural dyestuffs and have been on a roll since then. I am so extremely happy to have found this field of expertise and craftsmanship. It is science, love & magic. Magic from nature.

profile picture of The Dutch Yarn Barn natural dye workshop

Unravel Festival 21 – 23 UK

I am so thankful and proud to announce that my yarns are travelling! This weekend the sweet & strong sisters from crafting parlour Cross and Woods The Hague are taking my yarns there in their gorgeous shop. It is a creative and imaginative crowd of crafters coming to the festival and i hope everyone will pop by to say hello to Pauline and Eloise, and of course, to have a look at my yarns!

Dutch clogs in happy colours

Exciting Wholesale order

Another thing that completely rocked my boat was the generous wholesale order I received from the renowned yarn shop of Stephen and Penelope, from designer Stephen West. They met me in May 2019 and directly loved my colours. I will be dying them a lovely set of 35 colours, available in Amsterdam in April.

Redeveloping Dutch heritage yarns – first limited edition

From the start I knew that I wanted to work with Dutch yarns and develop new yarns with local Texelaar and Zwartbles wool so that more and more crafters will come to re-value this beautiful heritage product. Because we have forgotten what we have right here in our back yard, and how precious and sustainable it is. So, together with a sheerer I collected and selected topquality lambswool from local farms.
Very soon my first (very) limited edition yarn will be spun in eco friendly mini mill Tumulus.

It will be a blend of about 65% Texelaar, 10% Zwartbles, and 25% Baby Alpaca, in a 3 ply sportweight. Stay tuned, i will be covering more newsletters and posts on this topic. Pre-orders will be announced this spring.



Agenda - If weather permits, I will meet you at:


Unravel festival, Farnham Surrey, UK 21 -23 February

Nederlandse breidagen, Groningen, the Netherlands (t.b.c.) 27 -28 March

Leipziger Wolle-Fest & Stoffmesse, Germany (t.b.c.) 4 – 5 April

Nederlandse breidagen, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 1 – 2 May

Joure onder de wol, Joure centrum, Friesland the Netherlands 16 May

Woollin YarnFestival, Dublin, Ireland (confirmed) 13-14 June


Over de verfster


Natuurverfster Iris Ficker is nam afscheid van een carriere als zangeres (o.m in het Bulgaarse Pauni Trio) om haar oude liefde weer op te pakken.

Iris is afgestudeerd als kruidengeneeskundige & acupunturist, als koordirigent & zangpedagoog en heeft een Masters degree in Health Science. Haar kennis over kruiden en natuurlijke materialen, haar creatieve scheppingsdrang en haar neus voor technisch-wetenschappelijke informatie over natuurverven komen samen in deze nieuwe start-up.
TDYB's VISIE: Het scheppen van een kleurrijke wereld en een duurzame toekomst met natuurlijke kleuren.


Over The Dutch Yarn Barn


The Dutch Yarn Barn is een jong verfhuis en garenhandel (sinds april 2019) die het oude ambacht van wolverven op een vernieuwende manier doet herleven, gehuisd in een prachtige oude werkplaats aan de rand van de Achterhoek.

TDYB staat voor ambacht en duurzaamheid in handwerken en verft alleen natuurlijke, biologische en fairtrade natuurgarens. Het jonge bedrijf ontwikkelt moderne garens van Nederlandse schapenwol, en zet zich in voor de herwaardering van het authentieke karakter en bijzondere kwaliteiten van deze en andere locale (bio-)wol.

TDYB's MISSIE: Levende gekleurde wol brengen om je creativiteit te inspireren.




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