I make a selection of reindeer leather jewelry, bracelets, arm bands, necklaces using natural materials and techniques in the tradition of my ancestors. I use natural reindeer leather, organic cotton yarns and pewter thread.
The bracelets or arm bands are decorated with organic cotton bands that have been woven on Sami style heddles or a Scandinavian band loom. The Sami wove colourful bands for many uses, as shoe laces, as belts, as ties for their sleds, as harnesses for the reindeer, as trim and decoration on their clothing. Some of the bracelets are also embroidered with Pewter thread, known as poor man’s silver that was also used to decorate their clothing.
Reindeer leather is a precious commodity that is difficult to source. Most of the reindeer hides are used by the Saami people for their own clothing and personal use. I am only able to purchase the reindeer leather in small quantities that are sold as scrap leather. Nothing is wasted. I order all of my supplies from the Sami people in Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Some of the Sami bracelets and arm bands are also trimmed with fish leather.
This new series of Rya Rug kits that I am designing are based on the traditional folk Rya of Finland. ‘Suomen Kansanomaiset Ryijyt’.
Some of the earliest Rya in Finland date back to the 1700’s – 1800’s. Many of the rya of that period were geometric in shape, containing repetative squares, diamonds, diagonals and fish net patterns.
The Rya yarns were dyed using mainly local dyeplants of the region, such as Anthemis tinctorial – Marsh Labrador tea, Myrica gale, Bog myrtle, Birch leaves and bark, Alder buckthorn, Alder leaves and catkin, Willow bark, Spruce and pine cones, Parmelia lichen, Lichen saxatilis, Northern bedstraw. Red’s were obtained from Cochineal and Blues from Indigo, both of which were imported. Colours were darkened or blackened with the addition of iron to the dyebath.
149 cm x 206 cm
# Threads between rows: 8
Length of Pile: 1 cm
Owner: Yrjö Uotila
152 cm x 188 cm
# Threads between rows: 12
Rya Pile Length: 1.5 cm
# Threads per Knot: 6
Owner Galerie Horhammer, Helsinki
Deposited in Finnish National Museum
158 cm x 190 cm
Warp: fine linen thread
# Rows between rows of pile: 6 – 8
Length of Rya Pile: 1.1 cm
# Threads per rya knot: 3-4
Owner: Trade Councillor N. Tirkkonen
145 cm x 171 cm
Warp: Thick Hemp thread
# Threads between rows: 24
Length of Rya Pile: 3 cm
# Threads per Rya knot: 3
I will be adapting some of the Finnish rya rugs into smaller versions.
Rya Kits, Prices and details to come shortly.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
I am updating this website on a regular basis with new hand dyed yarns, handwoven items and other products. If you would like to keep informed of the latest developments, please Subscribe to my new Newsletter. Päivi
I first designed these ‘Ikkuna’ Window Panes Rya kits about 20 years ago. I wove the first sample rya on my Glimakra tapestry loom. Each window pane gives a view of a different hand dyed colour, framed in black. The popular kits have gone through many variations over the years.
Ikkuna Rya Kit 2020
The new 2020 version of this rya kit will be dyed using the colours of nature. The dark window panes are of natural brown wool.
The coloured windows will each be dyed using natural plant dyes.
When working with natural dyes, the colours are seasonal. Not all dyeplants are availabe throughout the year. The type of soil that the plant grew in, the growing season, the quantity of dyestuff in the natural plant, the acidity or pH of the water, the temperature and length of time in the dyebath are all factors that affect the final colour that emerges. There are no repeats when working with nature’s colours. Each kit is unique.
Ikkuna 2020 Rya Rug Kit
48 Squares of Natural Plant Dyed Colours
Surrounded by Natural Brown Wool
Backing Length: 45 cm x 50 cm
Finished Size: 40 cm x 40 cm
Price: £150.00 GBP
The Rya kit includes:
Rya backing canvas
1.5 cm Rya Ruler
Plant Dyed Rya wool yarn
If you have any questions, or would like to order a larger size in this design, please contact me. Päivi
Shipping Rates are based on the size of the package, the weight, the country that the item is being shipped to and the Shipping Class.
All Shipping Rates are estimates. There may be some variation once the package is weighed and current postage is applied by Royal Mail.
The Shipping Rates shown are for a Small Parcel weighing up to 250 grams.
Int. Tracked /Signed <£50
Int. Tracked /Signed £250
UK (1st Class/Signed For)
Canada / U.S.
Normally International shipping takes approximately 7-10 days to arrive. Parcels are not considered lost by Royal Mail until after 30 working days.
However, during this Covid19 crisis, all shipping times will be delayed.
Our local post office is currently only open 2 days per week, for 2 hours per day.
Generally, I try to ship once a week.
Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
Buyer is responsible for any additional taxes, duties or customs fees that may be charged.
These are hand dyed tapestry wool yarn kits. The yarns that I use for these kits are organic wool, no nylon, no chemicals, just pure natural wool. The yarns are all dyed using natural plant dyes.
The wool yarn is a suitable for embroidery, tapestry work, needlepoint, crochet or fine knitting.
Each skein is approx. 10 meters in length
10 skeins of naturally plant dyed rainbow colours per pack.
The natural dyes are created using plants, leaves, flowers, tree barks and minerals that have been used and tested through the ages. Naturally dyed colours fade gently yet remain beautiful.
Some of the dye plants that I use to create the many shades of the rainbow are:
Reds: Madder root, Brazilwood, Cochineal
Yellows: Weld, Fustic, Dyers Greenwood, Flame of the Forest
Blues: Indigo, Woad, Japanese Indigo
Purples and Greys: Alkanet, Logwood
I love to dye rainbows of colour using natural dye plants. These tapestry yarns are the results of my experiments. Natural dyes produce colours that are unique yet harmonious with each other. Not to be repeated. I hope that you will enjoy creating something new with the yarns as much as I have enjoyed making them.
I will be adding more naturally dyed yarns each week, so please check back for new plant dyed colours.
Please note that hand dyed yarns take up dye at different rates, so may have some colour variation throughout the skein, creating a unique look to the yarn. Some natural dye residue such as Indigo may rub off onto your hands.
I am updating this website on a regular basis with new hand dyed yarns, handwoven items and other products. If you would like to keep informed of the latest developments, please Subscribe to my new Newsletter.
Over the coming weeks, I will be offering some new weaving courses, designed for the Intermediate or more experienced hand weaver.
The workshops will specialize in Scandinavian traditional weave structures.
The weaving workshops will be offered as 1 or 2 day courses.
4 Shaft Table Looms will be pre-warped and ready to go.
Other weaving yarns and materials will be provided.
The workshops will take place in my home studio.
I can accomodate up to 2 persons per class.
Please contact me if you are interested in any of these workshops and would like to be kept informed of further information.
I will also update information about the workshops via Twitter.
Some of the new weaving workshops will be: Rya Rug Weaving Workshop
Suomi Sock Kits
I have designed some sock knitting kits using natural plant dyed wool yarns.
The Suomi Sock knitting patterns are based on traditional Finnish folk knitting designs that I remember from my childhood.
In my Paivatar Yarn Etsy shop you may purchase a PDF Instant Download of the pattern
as well as some of the hand dyed wool sock knitting yarns.
Some of my hand dyed sock yarns are now available for sale in my Web Shop.
BFL Superwash, No Nylon Sock Yarns
No nylon has been added to the wool yarn. Just wool and plant dyes, pure and simply natural.
These are sock wool knitting kits made with locally sourced British 100% Blue Faced Leicester wool. The wool has been spun with a high twist making it ideal for knitting strong socks that should last for some time.
The wool is superwash, so that if you happen to toss them into the washing machine they should be ok.
However, it is best to hand wash plant dyed wool socks in order to help maintain the naturally dyed colours.
About Superwash Wools Superwash is a treatment applied to wool fibres which makes more resistant to shrinking. In the 80’s superwash treatment got a bad rap because in some countries the effluent was not recycled. This has however has changed dramatically as the EU enforced very strict laws and any by-products must be removed from the water before it is discharged into the water systems. This now means that the water discharged actually is better than the drinking water you get from the tap. Not all countries have the same regulations and we only use superwash wool which is from highly regulated treatment plants in the UK and Europe (which also have very strict standards). We are very particular about where our wool is superwash treated. Jeni has personally been to visit our Superwash treatment plant in the UK and this was a really interesting visit, the owner has PhD in this area and employs the most up-to-date superwash techniques and is always trailing new ideas.
So… what does the process involve? Firstly the wool is treated in chlorine in the water to dull the tips of the scales of the wool, this reduces the ability of the scales to stick to each-other and therefore reduces felting. Secondly a super thin coating of resin is applied to the fibres permanently bonding to the wool, this smooths the scales, improving the handle and also prevents felting.
These are hand made reindeer leather clutch purses. The reindeer leather pouch has been made using reindeer leather scraps in various colours. The purse is lined with natural linen fabric and has a zipper enclosure. The clutch bag has a tablet woven wristlet strap.
Width: approx 18 cm (7 inches)
Height: 12 cm (4.5 inches)
Reindeer leather is a precious commodity that is difficult to source. Most of the reindeer hides are used by the Saami people for their own clothing and personal use. I am only able to purchase the reindeer leather in small quantities that are sold as scrap leather. I stitch the small pieces together in order to make purses, pouches, reindeer bracelets and other items. Nothing is wasted. Each purse is unique and a combination of different coloured leathers depending on what I have on hand.
If you would like to order a custom made purse in a different size or colours, please ask. Custom orders take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete. I ask for a 50% Non-refundable deposit on all Custom orders. This pays for the material costs, should you change your mind.
Paivatar Yarn on Etsy
Look for some of my handstitched leather bags on Etsy.
Red / Tan Sami Reindeer Leather Clutch Purse
Purple / Tan Sami Reindeer Leather Clutch Purse
Blue Sami Reindeer Leather Clutch Purse
Rainbow Sami Reindeer Leather Clutch Purse
Rainbow / Black Sami Reindeer Leather Clutch Purse