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720 Sunset Pond Lane, #2
Bellingham, WA 98226
USA

360-647-3395

True North Textiles is a boutique weaving studio producing original rugs that experiment with contemporary color and texture while remaining reverent to time-honored traditions. We specialize in working closely with designers and homeowners to develop palettes and patterns that integrate effortlessly and beautifully into interior design schemes. Our rugs are made in America

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Journal

Design blog focused on textiles, rugs and pattern.

 

Filtering by Category: Textiles

What's Prettier than Lavendar?

Angela Boyle

The completed lavender dining room rug is nearly 10x10 feet.

The completed lavender dining room rug is nearly 10x10 feet.

Ann Lundquist Design and the True North weavers teamed up for a recent project.

When people think purple, they think PURPLE. But this diverse color doesn’t have to be so bold. In this twill rug, lavender is combined with subtle rose and mossy browns. With the soft colors of a garden, this rug brings the outdoors safely in to the dining room where this rug will settle in.

You can just make out the mesmerizing angles caused by the twill and three colors.

You can just make out the mesmerizing angles caused by the twill and three colors.

The three unique color groups are woven one after the other. If you look closely, you can see that the cotton warp creates angled lines in one direction. But the three colors create angled lines to the other. A quick glance might see a floral lavender rug, but the more time you spend with it, the more depth of character is found.

With such subtle colors, it can be hard to select just the right combination. We offered up four color combinations, all focusing on lavender. The client was able to review the colors in their dining room. The lighting is so important in how the colors will look together. The colorway for one room with just a lamp can be very different from the best looking color way in a room with large south-facing windows.

Four color options let them pick the best colors for their lighting.

Four color options let them pick the best colors for their lighting.

This rug also has a unique finishing choice. Just because you choose a rug in one colorway, doesn’t mean the whole rug must be that color! The customer here wanted a concentration of the lavender on the ends. So to start and finish the rug, we wove 5 inches using only the lavender colorway. You can almost smell the heady scent on the breeze. Since we have six weavers at the shop, Our Creative Director, Amy Tyson, will often create a quick overview of the pattern we are trying to create. This helps keep all the weavers on the same track. Here you can see our plans for the lavender fields guarding the rug border.

Working from a design spec helps keep all the weavers with the same goal in mind.

Working from a design spec helps keep all the weavers with the same goal in mind.

Next time you think purple, think lavender. Then think rose. Then think of all the other colors in your own garden. Or the new garden you want planted in wool on your floors.

And don’t miss the inspiration for romantic Interiors at Ann Lundquist Design.

Heddle to the metal!

Angela Boyle, Weaver

Spincycle Colors Our World

Angela Boyle

Special tour of a local yarn manufacturer.

Yarn, yarn everywhere. At Spincycle Yarns.

Yarn, yarn everywhere. At Spincycle Yarns.

Rachel Price is standing next to an unopened, 800-pound bale of wool

Rachel Price is standing next to an unopened, 800-pound bale of wool

On what turned into a loud and inspiring Monday, most of the team at True North took a visit to Spincycle Yarns. A local spinnery in Bellingham, Washington, Spincycyle was founded by Rachel Price and Kate Burge in 2004. Originally, all their yarn was spun by hand!

Rachel, Kate and their staff dye and spin their own original yarn lines. Their super soft wool is a blend of Corriedale, Rambouillet, and Columbia sheep raised in Colorado and Wyoming.

They order processed wool fiber, which means it’s been scoured and carded. One bale of wool is 800 pounds and made of numerous “bumps.” These bumps are what the dyers bring down to the dyeing room. The bumps are undyed, pure white and wonderfully soft. The wool is ready to be dyed in Spincyle’s original colorways.

Two “bumps” of wool before dyeing

Two “bumps” of wool before dyeing

The dying room is in the back of the studio with a large roll up door that allows plenty of ventilation. On the day we visited, Kate was dyeing. To dye the wool, the pile lengths from the bump in large stock pots. The color is poured onto the wet wool. And the more wool is piled on and the process repeated until the pot is full.

To keep things even, Kate and Rachel each have about 20 color ways. Surprisingly, they cannot mix each other’s colors. But it becomes less surprising when you learn more about mixing each particular color and the balance of colors in each combination. It is very artistic and the dyer’s eye is a large part of what makes a color way sing. After dyeing is complete, the wool is left to drip dry in a gentle process. To complete the drying, they have a drying room with a heater and a humidifier.

Back at the front of the studio where we originally entered is the dizzyingly loud spinning room. Spincycle master machine operator Anna was carding, spinning, and plying simultaneously on the day we visited. Before sending the wool through the carding machine, the roving must be split in half. The carding machine then straightens out all the fibers so they are aligned and extends one foot of the roving into four feet of “pencil” roving! The pencil roving, which is collected into bins, is thin enough to start the yarn spinning process. The pencil roving is spun into singles and another machine plies these singles into multi ply yarn. Spincycle Yarns makes 2- and 3-ply yarns in sport, DK, aran, worsted, and bulky.

The deep blue yarn is having its twist set and the purple yarn is awaiting its bath.

The deep blue yarn is having its twist set and the purple yarn is awaiting its bath.

Finally, after the yarn has been plied, the twist needs to be set. So they soak the skeins in water, which also allows them to test the color fastness. It also allows the yarn to open up into the best texture. If the color bleeds too much in the soak, they will process it with citric acid and wash it again. It is dried in the drying room with the roving. The yarn is finished and ready to send to shops and homes!

Knitwear Designers across the country create patterns using Spincycle yarn. When these new patterns are released, Rachel and Kate see a large bump in orders of specific color ways. When we visited, a new pattern called Nightshift by Andrea Mowry had just come out on Ravelry and the yarn orders were through the roof! Nightshift is a worsted-weigh take on her previous The Shift Cowl.

Meg Lehinger and Angela Boyle are following Rachel Price into the dyeing room.

Meg Lehinger and Angela Boyle are following Rachel Price into the dyeing room.

In addition to the amazing collection of beautiful yarn at their online shop, keep an eye out for mill ends at a discount. Mill ends are leftover lengths of finished yarn that don’t add up to a full skein. They also occasionally sell kits, including adorable hat kits. Perfect amounts of complementary colorways—enough to make one hat—and a unique pompom!

Bucket of mill ends waiting for someone to knit them up.

Bucket of mill ends waiting for someone to knit them up.

Visiting Spincycle yarns was a great learning experience for the True North Team. It’s exciting to see other artisan fiber businesses taking off right in our town of Bellingham, WA. We were truly inspired not only by all the beautiful colors and textures but also by the amount of care they put into everything they do.