The best indie yarn dyers

A massive resource with all the indie dyers and yarn artists in one alphabetical big list for easy access and research

Are you looking for the perfect yarn for your next project? A wonderful customized colorway with speckles perhaps? Do you want to support local small businesses instead of larger corporations? Then you came to the right place. I put together a list of all the indie yarn dyers out there (I could find).

Knitting is a hobby that allows you to express your individual creativity. The yarn you pick to start a project is as fundamental a part of the process as the patter you choose and the tools you use. In the past 20 years, the internet gave independent dyers the unique opportunity to market their wares to a much broader audience. And this article is meant to celebrate these makers.

indie dyer colorways basking in the sun

This list is NOT ranked and follows a simple alphabetical order (starting with Z for a change :P) and I explicitly want to stress that I am neither sponsored by any of them, nor did I test the quality of all their products. This is meant as a resource to do your own research and find the best possible yarn for your next project (or, let’s be honest, your evergrowing stash *smirk*)

I start with regular indie dyers who make use of chemical dyes, and there is a separate list with plant-based dyers at the bottom. That being said, I do encourage you to do your own research and think beyond boundaries and common prejudices. Big brands are not bad in itself (they were small at one time as well, and some of them still are straightforward awesome) and a lot of them produce excellent yarn for knitting beginners. Just because somebody calls themselves “indie dyer”, doesn’t automatically mean the business is sustainable, inclusive, or more deserving of your support than the hardworking employees at a bigger brand, who rely on their jobs to support their families just as much (there are black sheep on either side).

for ahnks of semi-solid Indie dyer yarn

I would also like to add, that most indie dyers are one-person businesses. So, kindly show some patience, when they don’t answer your e-mails within 2 hours and the shipping takes a day or two longer. You will be rewarded with individual quality and yarn with true personality.

Either way, let’s start with the list of the best indie dyers, eh?

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Indie Dyers in Alphabetical order: The List

Differend colorways created be indie dyers

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through Etsy links in this article

I decided against commenting on the individual yarn dyers. Tastes differ, and I don’t want to spoil your first impression with my personal taste. And the same applies to pictures. As many of you know, Indie dyers tend to change their collections quickly (that’s part of the appeal, after all), so I don’t think I could fairly represent any of them here. Just check out the respective Instagram accounts.

Also, I made sure that all yarn artists were still active at the time of compiling this list. Due to many reasons, there may still not be active stocks at the time of your visit, as they are currently being replenished.

  1. Yellow June Fiber Company (Instagram) | Corinth, Mississippi, USA
  2. Wren & Ollie (Instagram) |St Agnes, Australia
  3. Wooly Mama Yarns (Instagram) | Manchester, United Kingdom
  4. Woola Oops (Instagram) | Auvergne, France
  5. Woolberry Fibers & Co (Instagram) | Denver, Colorado (?), USA
  6. Wild Atlantic Yarns (Instagram) | Donegal, Ireland, United Kingdom
  7. Wishbone Yarn (Instagram) | South Africa
  8. Waratah Fibres (Instagram) | Launceston, Australia
  9. Vivid Wool (Instagram) | Álftanes near Reykjavík, Iceland
  10. Valkyrie Fibers (Instagram) |South Lake Tahoe, USA
  11. Tot Le Matin Yarns (Instagram) | Saint-Georges-Motel, France
  12. Thistle & Hart (Instagram) | Salem, Oregon, USA
  13. The Red Pansy (Instagram) | New Jersey, USA
  14. The Perfect Stitch Fiber Co. (Instagram) | No address available, but seems to be USA
  15. TheOutside Dyers (Instagram) | Pangbourne, Scotland, United Kingdom
  16. The Kinetic Knitter Yarns (Instagram) | Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  17. The Lemonade Shop (Instagram) | no address provided
  18. The Blue Brickish (Instagram) | Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  19. The Fibre Fox (Instagram) | Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
  20. The Famers Daughter Fibers (Instagram) | Montana, USA
  21. The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio (Instagram) | Georgia, USA
  22. Tippy Tree Yarns (Instagram) | Windsor, Colorado, USA
  23. Teeny Button (Instagram) | New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  24. Tausendschönwolle (Instagram) |Saarbrücken, Germany
  25. Suburban Stitcher (Instagram) | Texas, USA
  26. Stranded Dyeworks (Instagram) | East Cot of Scotland, United Kingdom
  27. Stitch Together Studio (Instagram) | no address, USA
  28. Sternstaub Wolle (Instagram) | Panzweiler, Germany
  29. Snerb Yarn & Fiber Studio (Instagram) | Southern Oklahoma, USA
  30. Spun Right Round (Instagram) | Rochester, New York, USA
  31. Speckled Finch Studio (Instagram) | Northern California, USA
  32. Skein Yarn (Instagram) | Coffs Harbour, Australia
  33. Shirsty Cat Design (Instagram) | no address provided, USA
  34. Serenity Fibers (Instagram) | Lewisville, Texas, USA
  35. Serendipitous Wool Co. (Instagram) | Texas, USA
  36. Screaming Colors (Instagram) |Neuburg, Germany
  37. Schwedenrot Yarns (Instagram) Polch, Germany
  38. Sassy Strings Yarn Studio (Instagram) | Airdrie, Canada
  39. SamelinDyeworks (Instagram) | Bad Mergentheim, Germany
  40. RoseHipIsland (Instagram)| Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
  41. Rose Hill yarns (Instagram) | Calmar, Alberta, Canada
  42. Rock The Wool (Instagram) | Euskirchen, Germany
  43. Ritual Dyes (Instagram) | Southeast Portland | USA
  44. Rita Mae Yarns (Instagram)| York, Pennsylvania, USA
  45. Ravensword Fibres (Instagram) | Nova Scotia, Canada
  46. Qing Fibre (Instagram) | London, United Kingdom
  47. Purl And Knit (Instagram) |Neuenrade, Germany
  48. Purple Lamb Fiber Arts (Instagram) | North Texas, USA
  49. PolkaDotCreek (Instagram) | Airdrie, Canada
  50. Pirate Purl Yarns (Instagram) | Newcastle, Australia
  51. Playful Day Yarns (Instagram, Etsy) | Petaluma, California, USA
  52. PlankandStella (Instagram) | Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  53. Pixie Yarns (Instagram) | Winscombe, United Kingdom
  54. Paca La Alpaca (Instagram) | (near) Guadalajara, Spain
  55. Ovis et Cetera (Instagram) | Bunde, Germany
  56. OzifarmersMarket (Instagram) | Lake Entrance, Australia
  57. Old Rusted Chair (Instagram) |Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  58. Olann (Instagram) | Killygarry, Ireland, United Kingdom
  59. Neighborhood Fiber & Co (Instagram) | Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  60. MythicaFibers (Instagram)| Yokohama, Japan
  61. Mudpunch (Instagram) | No address available, but it’s Canada
  62. Mothy and the Squid (Instagram) | Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, United Kingdom
  63. Montana Crochet (Instagram) | near Helena, Montana, USA
  64. Miss Lamotte Yarns (Instagram)|  Cape Town, South Africa
  65. MissBabs (Instagram) | Mountain City, Tennessee, USA
  66. Miroyarns (Instagram) |Maunu, New Zealand
  67. Midknit Cravings (Instagram) | Saskatchewan, Canada
  68. MAD Scientist Yarns (Instagram) |Shifnal, United Kingdom
  69. Maelstrom Fiber Arts (Instagram | Etsy)| Wentzville, Missouri, USA
  70. Machete Shoppe (Instagram) | Poconos, Pennsylvania, USA
  71. Louie & Lola yarns (Instagram) | Mount Roland, Tasmania, Australia
  72. Lolabean Yarn & Co (Instagram) | ?
  73. Long Dog Yarn (Instagram) | Baton Rouge, L.A, USA
  74. Loft TwentyTwo (Instagram doesn’t seem active anymore, tho) | Ripon, California
  75. Leading Men Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Central Illinois,
  76. Lavender Lune Yarn Co. (Instagram) | Northern Minnesota, USA
  77. Laine and Lotus (Instagram | Etsy) | Connecticut, USA
  78. Lady Dye Yarns (Instagram )| Massachusetts, USA
  79. Knittinggale Yarns (Instagram) |Wasthington State, USA
  80. Knittingbro Yarn (Instagram) |  Frackville, Pennsylvania, USA
  81. Knit or Dye (Instagram) | Queensland, Australia
  82. Knitty and Color (Instagram | Etsy) | Acworth, Georgia, USA
  83. Knitcircus Yarns (Instagram) | Wisconsin, USA
  84. Kindred Red (Instagram) | Oakland, California, USA
  85. Junk Yarn (Instagram) | Northern Carolina, USA
  86. House of Alamode Fibergoods.com (Instagram) | no address provided
  87. Highfiberartz (Instagram) | Portland, Oregon, USA
  88. Heidiyarn Fiber (Instagram) | Herdecke, Germany
  89. Hedgehog Fibres (Instagram) |Cork, Republic of Ireland
  90. Hello Stella Fibres (Instagram) | Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  91. Hawthornecottage | Ballarat, Australia
  92. Harbor Fibres (Instagram) | Maine, USA
  93. HalfBaked (Instagram) | Melbourne, Australia
  94. Haalu the ugly bunny (Instagram) | Geilenkirchen, Germany
  95. Happy Hank (Instagram) |Bendigo, Australia
  96. Greentea Yarns (Instagram) | Mornington Peninsula, Australia
  97. Graphic Dyeworks (Instagram) |  Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
  98. Gingerfully Cozy (Instagram) | Edmonton, Canada
  99. Giddy Yarns (Instagram) | Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom
  100. Frost Yarns (Instagram) |Southern California, USA
  101. Forgotten Fiber (Instagram) | Brighton, Tennessee, USA
  102. Fullyspun (Instagram) | no address, but apparently USA
  103. Fiber Seed (Instagram) | Southern Ohio, USA
  104. Fiber Lily (Instagram) | no address provided, but Australia
  105. Faserliebe (Instagram) | Norderstedt, Germany
  106. Expression Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Charlotte, North Caroline, USA
  107. Explorer knits and fibers.com (Instagram) |  Illinois, USA
  108. Eternity Ranch Knits (Instagram, Etsy) | Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
  109. Eden Cottage Yarns (Instagram) | Wetherby, United Kingdom
  110. Dragon Hoard Yarn (Instagram) | no address provided
  111. DoneRoving (Instagram) |  Downeast Maine, USA
  112. Destination Yarn (Instagram) | Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  113. Desert Bloom Yarns (Instagram) | Clarkdale, Arizona, USA
  114. Cowgirlblues (Instagram) |Cape Town, South Africa 
  115. Cornbread and Honey (Instagram) | Painesville, Ohio, USA
  116. ColagirlCollectiveAu (Instagram) | Adelaide, Australia
  117. Cloud Forest Yarns (Instagram) |Brisbane in Queensland, Australia
  118. C’Laines Boutique (Instagram) | Angers, France
  119. Cat Sandwich Fibers (Instagram) | no address provided, probably USA
  120. Casual Fashion Queen (Instagram) | Central Florida, USA
  121. Candy Skein (Instagram) | Astoria, Oregon, USA
  122. BuzzinYarns (Instagram) | Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  123. Bumblebeeacresfarm (Instagram) | Northern Illinois, USA
  124. Broadwickfibers (Instagram, Etsy) | Denver, Colorado
  125. Blue Mule Fiber (Instagram) | Fayetville, Texas, USA
  126. Blue Moon Fiber Arts (Instagram) | Scappoose, Oregon, USA
  127. Blue Brick (Instagram) | Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  128. Blue Barn Fiber (Instagram) | Coeur d’Alene, Idaho | USA
  129. Biffsugar Yarns (Instagram) | Salisbury, United Kingdom
  130. Becozi (Instagram, Etsy) |  State of Michigan, US
  131. Baahyarn (Instagram) | Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  132. BlackWattle Alpaca Yarn and Fibre (Instagram) | Murrumbateman, NSW, Australia
  133. Black Cat Yarn (Instagram) |Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada
  134. A Whimsical Wood Yarn & Co (Instagram) | USA?
  135. Artemis Yarns (Instagram) | near Toulouse, France
  136. Atomic Fiber Co (Instagram) | Orofino, Idaho, USA
  137. Andromeda Sock Yarn (Instagram) | Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
  138. Anotherround (Instagram) | Rockland (?), Maine, USA
  139. Ancient Arts Fibre (Instagram) |Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  140. AMO yarn (Instagram) | Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom
  141. Air de lune (Instagram, Etsy) | Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  142. A Handmade Journey (Instagram) |Johnson City, Tennessee, USA

Note: Kindly comment this article if you would like to submit a further entry. It took forever and a day to research this list, but as this industry is changing so rapidly chances are very high I missed more than just a couple. Please understand that I won’t include yarn shops or indie dyers without an internationally accessible website or too high shipping costs for an English speaking audience.

Plant Dyers

hand dyed natural alpaca yarn
Nautrally dyed alpaca yarn in Peru | pic: Ken Bosma @flickr.com

Are custom colorways / Indie dyers worth it?

If you clicked through any of the links above, then you probably are familiar with the fact that a 100-gram skein of the typical merino sock wool costs between 20 and 35ish USD. That’s a lot of money for one skein. Go to your local yarn shop (LYS), and you’ll find the same quality Lion Brand (etc.) yarn for a third of that price. So, of course, you might ask yourself if it’s worth it?

That is, entirely, a personal decision and one nobody can answer for you. But I can give you some pointers:

1. How much do indie yarn dyers make?

Most dyers have to buy the yarn bases from a wholesaler. Those typically sell in the range of 10 USD. And even if they produce their own yarn, they could always sell it for that price (if not more). That’s the base costs. Add the costs for the dyes/bleaches/hardware, packaging, and the labor, you might get the first inkling why these skeins are priced so high. And of course, the websites cost money, and so does the marketing. So, there’s a margin of 5ish to 10ish USD per sold skein in the best case.

Sounds, nice, eh? But obviously one person can only dye, wind, label, and ship so many colorways per month, so that’s the ceiling. Of course, they can find further employees, but that is even more expensive and cuts down the margin even further (that’s one of the reasons you often see partners helping out).

2. Individuality has a price

Go to a LYS and you will find tons of solid and semi-solid yarn options by the big brands. The dyes are so extremely consistent that you could buy two green Schachenmayr Regia 4-ply sock yarns a decade apart and not notice a difference (just in case you were wondering, yes, I actually did that!). But, they can’t offer you a beautiful speckled colorway. Few produce truly great self-striping yarn, and of course, none of them offer made-to-order colors. And that individuality has a price.

I love natural fibers and dyes. I love knitting with exotic yarns and prefer semi-solids. So, for me, indie dyers are only very rarely a choice. Other people simply cannot afford to spend 200USD on a sweater, even if they wanted. And that’s okay as well (in this case, spinning, and dying your own yarn can be a viable approach). You are paying for creativity and adding a very personal touch to your finished object. Indie dyers are also often much faster in reacting to trends. Neon colors are just one example where the big brands were much slower in providing consumers adequate choices.

3. You can find the perfect color for your project

I don’t know about you, but sometimes you see a pattern or have an idea for something you just HAVE to knit. And you instantly know which color you want it in. But then you go to your LYS and ask if they have a DK merino wool in a grey-ish pink and the answer is no. You don’t even want to know how often this has happened to me.

But for me, the reason why I knit is that I can knit whatever I want, in my size and my favorite color. If I wanted to be limited by size and color, I’d go to a regular department store and buy my sweaters there. That’s probably cheaper and faster in most cases. And this is another area where indie dyers excel. You can either browse the list to find your color or find one that will a hank or two according to your specifications.

4. Shop wisely

There are way over a hundred indie yarn dyers on my list, and there are probably a hundred more I didn’t find (yet) or didn’t deem worthy to enter the list (too small, weird shop, no international shipping, etc). Don’t think of them as one inherent mass where you can expect the same quality. Some of them have years of experience and others just started. Some know how to take photographs of their pictures (you know, with flower clippings and steaming coffee), others don’t. Some know how to create dyes that look beautiful when knitted, and others only create beautiful hanks. And the yarn bases don’t have the same quality either.

That’s why you absolutely need to shop wisely. A lot of dyers offer mini skeins. Use that to test the quality and stick to those you liked. Also, some dyers provide swatches for their colorways you can look at before you shop. And then, of course, there is shipping costs. If you buy a single skein here, and another single skein there, you will end up with tremendous amounts of shipping costs.

Oh..and talking about single skeins. I know, 30 USD for a skein is expensive. So 60 for two is even more money. But, consider resisting the temptation and don’t buy too many single skeins (except you are a sock knitter). There’s only so much you can knit with 100 grams of sock yarn. Too often, these beautiful colorways never get knit because there’s never the right project with it.

5. It’s about treating yourself

Knitting takes time. Some of us are a bit faster, and others prefer a slower pace, but you end up spending hours upon hours looking and feeling a yarn – before you even get to wear it. That’s one of the reasons why I choose the yarns and fibers I knit with so carefully. I don’t want to knit 40 hours with a horrible acrylic yarn from the 80ies that is prone to triboelectric charging and makes my fingers feel sweaty.

Now, obviously, some knitters operate on a tighter budget than others, and tastes differ as well. So, there is absolutely no need to buy from indie dyers and they are not inherently better. But, those yarns can be a nice way to treat yourself to something special you will thoroughly enjoy knitting with.

6. Indie dyers are not for knitters on a tight budget

I already touched on the subjects of quality and budget, but I want to stress one more point: If you can’t really afford that custom colorway, don’t buy it!

I had colorways that were this side of heaven, but I also had tangled messes with knots in between that bled like crazy, knitted up like a nightmare (even though the skein looked beautiful!), and that took forever and a day to ship.

Now, please don’t get the impression that this happens one out of two orders. Far from it. But it’s not unheard of either. And it would be quite the pity if you saved up to be finally able to afford it and then get disappointed proportionally. You are not paying for magic unicorn fluff (okay, I’m sure there is a colorway with that name, lol) but for quite a lot of hard labor and a lot of creativity.

Last thoughts

raw dyed wool

I wrote this list in the hope to give people the perfect way to find the best yarn for their next project. These days, it’s often those dyers who are best at taking pictures and marketing themselves on social media who get the most attention. This list is meant as an equalizer.

In this spirit, I urge you to look behind the scenes. Some shops may appear a bit outdated, but that doesn’t mean the quality is worse. Some might not have the largest following on social media, but their colorways can be just as amazing. And sometimes, when one shop currently has no stocks, it pays off to look around to find something similar or even better. So, feel free to bookmark my little list and peruse it at leisure. I will make sure to update it regularly.

So, that’s it. That was my ultimate list of indie yarn dyers. I hope you found something to your liking & make sure to tell me about your favorite dyers in the comments!

The ultimate list of indie yarn dyers

4 thoughts on “The best indie yarn dyers”

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