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Archive for August, 2012

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Recently, I showed you a door that opened into the dye house that, until April, put the color on our yarns. When the dye house closed, we were shaken. What’s a business like ours to do? We’re not small enough to dye in-house in pots, and we’re not big enough to meet the enormous (for us) minimums required by bigger dye houses much further from home.

We paced. We wrung our hands. We ran numbers. We kavetched. We lay awake nights.

And then (so happily) we joined forces with a few like-minded souls (three, in fact) who thought that setting up a dye house right here in Maine was a pretty good idea.

We might be crazy. Indeed, we probably are. But yarn needs dye. So,

dye house here we come. Follow me.

In a short while, (a very short while, we hope) that blue door below will open on the much anticipated Saco River Dye House.

Just. Can’t. Wait.




Monday, August 13th, 2012

Last post pictured the side entry into what used to be our dye house. Now I open the door and show you a few pictures (blurry iphone photos, sorry) of the interior of a much-missed, circa 1960′s dye house. This is where our yarns used to get colored.

Above are tools of the trade, pigments, a thermometer, a spoon, pipettes, and garden variety kettles in which to dissolve the dyes.

Miscellany on shelves in the dye-prep room.

In the dye house proper, a dye tank in the foreground. In the back, two ‘cabinets’ that hold the skeins.

Hoists lift the cabinets into the tank.

Analog dials keep track of water temps and direction of flow.

In the drying room, damp skeins are strung on wooden dowels and hung on drying racks.

Hi-tech (?) fans circulate air to speed up the drying process.

Skeins dyed and dried and ready for twisting.

Today, the rooms pictured above are empty. The equipment is gone. So where do we go from here?

On an adventure. More soon.



Sunday, August 12th, 2012

A lonely looking building, as well it should be. This is the door to what used to be our dye house. Until recently, it did a faultless job of skeining our yarn (which arrived on cones), dyeing the skeins, and neatly twisting them into appealing hanks.

To our great dismay (keening and wailing, too), this little dye house shut its doors last April. For a small business like Quince & Co, having a firm and dependable supply chain is nothing short of survival. So what to do?

Our current fix is to ship our yarn much further (expensive), have it skeined in a dedicated winding house (more expensive), and dyed in a plant better suited to large companies which dye in greater quantities (oh, so much more expensive). Not a great, long-term solution.

What’s a yarn company like ours to do?

We’ll get back to that question soon. But in the meantime, I’d like to show you what used to be behind this door. Next blog, coming up.