Madelinetosh was created by Amy Hendrix: Dyer, mama, and passionate color theory and crafting educator. Madelinetosh represents curated colors dyed with care on wholesome, ethically sourced and dyed wools. We celebrate rich, abundant color and natural fibers.
The first Madelinetosh shop opened online on Etsy in 2006. Out of this tiny start-up grew a hand dye operation which now supplies yarn to stockists around the globe, from Iceland to Japan, from Australia to Alaska. Our local craft store, Madtosh Crafts, opened in Fort Worth, Texas in April of 2012.
“I believe color is fundamental to who we are, which is why humans are so passionate about color preferences. Combine color with the natural desire to make something through craft and you have a deep, grounding form of gratification that is hard to find in this modern disconnected world. I created Madelinetosh for people who wanted to paint with yarn. When I compose a Recipe for a new colorway, I draw inspiration from my travels and the layered colors found in the natural world around us. Breaking down images around me into component parts and parcing out units of color, that our eyes combine together to see as one whole, is what I do daily; I look for colors in the shadows, along a roofline or across the surface of a field and log it in my memory to break apart later.” – Amy Hendrix
Amy studied Art History at the University of North Texas and abroad while living in London.
While studying in London, Amy interned for an NGO, supporting the Arts at the National level through the Arts Council England. Drafting grants and articles she was inspired by the preservation of cultural heritage that is traditionally considered intangible, such as music, dance, ritual and festivals, as often, traditional crafts hold a deep connection to these events. Amy learned a great deal about the ability to preserve a “living aspect of culture” and its heritage through her studies abroad. Upon returning home Amy next worked with the U.S. State Department. During her internship she drafted summaries and conducted research regarding the enforcement of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property as established through UNESCO. Working in the Bureau responsible for Cultural Property Protection developed her understanding about the vulnerability traditional cultures faced when it came to safe-guarding their cultural heritage be it intangible medicinal/dye recipes or tangible physical objects such as archeological or ethnological materials.
Possessing a fiery courage to take risks, Hendrix completed school armed with a passion for color, textiles and the cultural preservation efforts that sustain them.
It was after her son was born in 2005 that everything seemed to come together, her love of color and texture was put to good use. Knitting a sweater for her first son, she became more conscious of how most yarn is made, much of it using petroleum-based materials and acrylic fibers and knew she wanted something natural against her newborn’s soft skin. In her search for alternatives, Hendrix rediscovered the knitting community and began researching available natural wool sources. Having painted for years, she was instantly fascinated by traditional textbooks and methods of dyeing. Skipping modern protocol and instead utilizing techniques more likely to be found in the middle, rather than the modern age, she began experimenting in her home kitchen with dyes, sometimes layering colors two or three at a time, mixing and combining dyes in glazes and washes of colors as was done in traditional methods of dyeing. Creation and exploration has always been a part of Amy’s process as she harvested local plants, tested natural dyes, played with unique surface applications for low-impact acid dyes and created indigo vats in her backyard dipping and shading her way through different grades of wool, silk, linen and alpaca yarns.
After receiving many random order requests at playgrounds, Hendrix realized she was not the only person who had the same desire for a wider range of hand dyed color choices on natural fibers. In 2006 she listed some of her extra hand dyed skeins for sale on a new website called Etsy. Remembering stories of her great grandmother, who handwove linens and textiles in the early 1900s, she decided to honor her craft by using her name, Madeline Tosh, as the name for her indie fibers. She first visited local stores in North Texas and then, hit the road to introduce her yarns across the State.
In April of 2012 Amy opened Madtosh Crafts, a local craft store based in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. The store offers many classes in multiple types of traditional crafts to the local community. In 2013 Amy was honored to lecture at the Amon Carter Museum on the historical use of textiles in American Art and currently travels both domestically and abroad teaching workshops and classes on hand dyeing and color theory, humbly sharing the traditional knowledge she has gained with as many people that will listen.
Madelinetosh Hand Dyed Yarns is currently stocked in more than 200 different colorways and supplied to over 800 retailers around the world including the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Japan.
Hendrix currently lives in a historic house she and her husband have restored in central Fort Worth with her husband John Ballard and their two sons Jack and Forrest.
Our yarns use/are:
* All Natural Fibers
* Locally Dyed by Hand in Texas
* Hand-Crafted using Traditional Methods in Small Dye Batches
* Wool Ethically Sourced from Peruvian and South African Spinning Mills
* Low Impact Organic Compound Dyes / Good for U & Good for the Earth
* Packaging uses 90% recycled materials
* Packaging products are made in the USA
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WHO WAS MADELINETOSH?
Lillian Madeline Atkins was born to a hopeful tenant farmer and a fair-skinned aesthete at a cross-roads town in Virginia named Moonlight in 1900.
At the age of twelve, Lillian walked to the county seat, filled out a small form, and forever changed her name to Madeline Tosh. When asked why, she offered that her school teacher’s surname was better suited for her than simple Atkins.
At nineteen, Madeline Tosh met a tugboat captain working on the Pagan River. Four months later, she married him to spite her father for an undelivered gift. Madeline bore nine children, six of whom she raised to adulthood.
Madeline left her husband after the children were grown and moved to a brownstone in Washington D.C. off of 14th Street. There, she worked for the Woodward and Lothrop department store, packing and unpacking crystal lamps and shades. Madeline later moved to a prefabricated Quonset hut in Claremont and purchased an oak loom with which she wove linen and handspun cotton fabrics for pocket money.
Madeline was my great-grandmother. Madeline never traveled outside of the Virginia, D.C. area. She passed away in 1984.