bedhead fiber is a declaration of adoration for plants, fungi, natural fibers, farmers, the slow process. We believe in the power of plants, the necessity of healthy ecosystems, and supporting farmers.
Kelli Thoumsin is the natural dyer, dye grower, insect admirer, and owner of bedhead fiber. She began her post college work farming, in hopes of learning how to grow food and work with her hands--something she felt was lacking in her structured education. The farming adventures took her abroad to six countries, where she gained knowledge about growing, farming, and knitting with the overall lesson that everything is connected. The water, air, soil, seeds, plants, animals (humans included), were dependent on another to maintain their own health. Farming revealed that we must take care of each part of nature in order to take care of ourselves.
On the first farm in Greece, the female farmer (hullo, A!) patiently taught Kelli how to knit. After the farm duties were completed, they would sit and knit among the growing vegetables or on the beach soaking in the sunset, listening to the water lap upon the pebbled shore. As fiber artists know, once you begin it doesn't take long for one facet of the fiber trade to snowball into another. Once back stateside, Kelli was also spinning, crocheting, and weaving. When she found herself in Eugene, Oregon surrounded by the incredible food bounty of the Willamette Valley, she started investigating ways to apply what she had learned while farming, which included ways to utilize food waste. Natural dyeing was the perfect solution to the forgotten purple cabbage in the back of the fridge, avocado pits, and onion skins that could be given a new life before heading to the compost. She honed her foraging skills and found mushrooms and forest foods not only to be delicious, but that many also yield colors! She was hooked.
When Kelli returned to Seattle, she started production dyeing with natural dye extracts for fashion designers across the nation. Here she cultivated her skills for creating lightfast, technically sound textiles that matched the specific pantone colors the designers desired. With a foundation of dyeing with foraged, raw materials, transitioning to massive scale natural extract dyes was a drastic shift, but one that gave Kelli a solid foundation in natural dyes.
All of this is to say that bedhead fiber is a long, slow process. A journey. An appreciation of things that ask us to pause. If we respect where things come from and their lives, how they grow, we in turn respect what they have to offer.
bedhead fiber only sources fiber from US grown and milled farms, primarily based out of the Pacific Northwest. Most of the dye materials have been hand foraged by Kelli or traded with other foraging friends all with sustainability in mind–ethically harvesting and foraging, and often growing our own dye materials. We supplement raw material dyes with extracts sourced directly from the farmers. bedhead fiber products are a commitment to sustainability, healthy ecosystems, and strong communities. We believe that the yarn and textiles we create are not only beautiful, but hold intention and value to the fiber, farmer, and foraging communities.
Due to the wonderfully unpredictable characteristics of natural dyes, all skeins are different and will undoubtedly have some variegation. But what a joy!