I am Nancy Zeller, shepherdess and natural dyer. I have co-owned and operated Long Ridge Farm since 1995 and have raised CVM/Romeldale sheep, the rarest breed of sheep in North America, since 2002. My sheep yield a fine wool of 26 microns or less, with a very defined crimp.
I offer a line of yarns I create using their wool along with other precious fibers. In addition, I dye one of a kind fabrics in accessory pieces as well as yardage using bio-regional plants sourced from our farm. I source natural dyes from around the globe for artisans which are available to purchase through my online shop.
My passion for natural dyeing began in 2005. I have never used synthetic dyes and plan to remain true to my passion. Through an ongoing process of combining teacher consultation with personal study I have succeeded in achieving rich, strong colors from natural dyes and only two non-metal mordants.
My quest is ever-changing, challenging and exciting with regard to natural color and my work.
My studio is located on the farm and I am available by appointment.
Through a combined passion for raising my flock of CVM/Romeldale sheep and natural dyeing I am constantly exploring technique and innovation when applying color to cloth and fiber. Both my rarest breed of sheep and natural dyes face extinction so I am ever conscious of their protection and care. I am turning more to working with bio-regional dyestuffs to coax colors to my work. Since 2005, I have traveled and studied extensively with the following natural dye artists: Michele Wipplinger, Earthues; India Flint; Joan Morris; Denise Lambert of Bleu-de-Lecture; Michel Garcia; attended ISEND 2011 in LaRochelle, France.
I’ve been involved with a group in Rwanda, teaching the women how to expand their own dye ranges and introducing new techniques to them. Read more here.