Updated: Nov 9, 2021
Recently we had the privilege of interviewing Gaia Gualtieri of Dyeing House Gallery (DHG). This remarkable company from a small town in Tuscany called Prato is one of our amazing sponsors. Its motto “A long love story between art and color” is the perfect fit.
A trip to their website:: http://www.dyeinghousegallery.com/en/ is like visiting a gallery or reading a really great magazine article on fiber art. There’s so much to enjoy: interviews with fiber artists, information about exhibitions and a online gallery featuring work by international artists such as: SHANA KOHNSTAMM, MARIA FRIESE, LISA KLAKULAK, SHELLEY JONES, JENNY PEPPER, and CATHERINE O’LEARY.
We hope you will enjoy learning about this extraordinary company as much as we did.
What is your business philosophy?
Our mother company is Gruppo Colle (www.gruppocolle.it) which is probably the biggest dyeing house in Europe at the moment. We are very focused on quality and have 60-years experience in Luxury Fibers like: cashmere, super fine wools, vicuna, guanaco. We dye about 12 billion kilograms per year (tops, fleece and yarns on cones). DHG is a spin-off company established in 2007.
Our goal is to supply high quality products at reasonable prices so that even small artisans can work with good products which, at least here (Italy), are usually not very affordable for very small companies/artisans/artists. All the articles/colors in our collection are almost always available and restocked constantly. All our products are produced in our mill or locally.
We work in an environmental-friendly way and believe Made in Italy is not just a label. Made in Italy means respecting employees and environment. It means using top quality raw materials and safe dyes. It means putting the beauty we have here in each single product we make. From the packaging right through to the website.
Is there a common misconception about textiles & dyeing you’d like to challenge?
Very often customers do not understand how complicated the dyeing process is and I am afraid many do not appreciate all our efforts. That is why we are very involved in bringing groups to visit our dyeing house. We want them to understand, appreciate and if possible, value all the work people do behind the scenes. Also we want customers to see we care about the people working for us.
Our customers are concerned about the treatment of animals, and that is important to us, but another question we want to see asked more often is “How do you treat your employees?” I don’t mean to make any comparison between human beings and animals. I just want to underline that customers should also consider this aspect and be open to pay more for something produced where people have rights and are treated in a fair way. It is not always this way unfortunately…
Very often, not to say always, people think that a dyeing house is essentially an eco-monster. A place where anything we do using dyestuff is harmful for our planet. Maybe in other countries but not in Italy. Maybe in other dyeing houses.
Our dyeing house is clean, bright, safe and works using at least 30% of renewable energy. Also the water we take from the river to make our plant work, after being used for the dyeing, is also used to heat the offices and then poured again in the river cleaner than the water we took. We use FCS paper and biodegradable plastic packaging. Not all that is industrial is bad. Please consider visiting our new company museum. It’s open to schools, groups and individual by appointment where we explain how textile, art, renewable energy and industrial production can be connected and have synergy.
What is your most popular product?
Our extrafine merino wool tops. As a dyeing house we are really passionate about colours and this line has the widest color cards among ours: we offer more than 100 colors ready stock service.
Do you get feedback from your customers? What are some of your favourite comments?
Oh yes, we have many. Everyday. Customers love to keep in touch. Two of our favorites are: “We feel that you are a great family and that you like what you do” and “Not only do we love what you do but we love HOW you do that.”
Music for our ears. We go crazy when people appreciate us as people and as a company beyond products.
You have a beautifully gallery on your website. Why do you believe it’s important to support fibre arts and promote fibre artists?
First of all we love fiber and textile arts. Secondly, it’s amazing seeing what people can create with our products and it can really be a sort of cure on negative days. We think that everybody loves/needs to see beauty so when we have amazing pieces to show and share, we do that. Just for the pleasure of doing it. We hope people will be inspired and encouraged to create something their own.
DHG is involved in raising funds for the Pediatric Oncology Ward of Anna Meyer Hospital in Florence. Why are endeavors like this important to you as a company?
We believe a company has a social role. If a company make profits then we think it’s fair to give something back to the place that hosts us (and not only those places close to us).
Do you have any upcoming events you’d like to share with us?
October 15, 2016 there will be the opening of a solo exhibiton of Marjolein Dallinga. The exhibition will be hosted at our local textile museum (www.museodeltessuto.it) and we are the main sponsor. It is a honor for us because Marjolein Dallinga’s work is top notch. Come and see the exhibition!!!
Why do you support felt :: feutre canada?
Canada is a very significant market for us. We have many customers and friends there like Nathalie of Artgus Studio who is our oldest and most important stockist there. So it is important for us to support such an amazing event. It is a way to support our partners and to make the felting community grow. Also symposiums like this (in Penticton, BC) are really the best part of our job…
Do you know we attended the felt :: feutre canada Canadian Felt Symposium, on Salt Spring Island in 2013? It was a wonderful experience and we felt very, very, very welcome.
Where can Canadian feltmakers find your products?
Artgus Studio Inc. 33 de Bourpeuil J0J 1K0 – Mont St-Gregoire (Quebec) (514) 977-7987 email@example.com http://www.artgusstudio.com
Chaotic Fibres Victoria (BC) (250) 592-8557 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.chaoticfibres.com/
Felt&Craft – Felting Supplies 390 Chemin du Bord de l´eau H7X 1S9 – Laval (Quebec) (514) 806-5741 email@example.com http://www.forfelting.ca/
The Olive Sparrow 109 Niagara Street, Box 46, Studio 303 M5V 1C3 – Toronto (Ontario) (416) 504-3665 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.theolivesparrow.com/