These Natural Dyers are ‘Better Than Google’

“THEY are the duo described by their admirers as ‘better than Google.’

Revered for their incredible fine motor skills, Olive Edyvean and Margaret Belling are two of the longest serving members of the Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Wagga.

Olive joined the guild when the club was in its infancy, attending her first meeting in 1970 – just two years after it was established in 1968.

Five years later Margaret walked into the guild’s annual general meeting and became the newest member of the tight-knit fold.

“My daughter was doing textiles and spinning was becoming all the rage so she wanted a spinning wheel,” Olive said.

“She learnt how to do it but spinning was too slow for her – she much preferred knitting.

“My husband was running a sheep stud so there was lots of beautiful wool around so I gave it a go and never stopped.”

Like Olive, it was the beauty of the countryside that helped inspire Margaret’s passion for spinning and handweaving.

The pair has only ever used natural dyes to colour their fibres, choosing yellowbox, eucalyptus, onion skins and cochineal over synthetic dyes available on the commercial market.”

Read the full article on The Leader.

Image: Laura Hardwick for The Leader