Sharing Louet North America’s Facebook post from this morning. I have not heard of this lady before, but am interested, as I believe very much in honoring the work and showing respect to people who pioneered the way for those of us to come!
“It is with a heavy heart that Louet North America announces the passing of our founder and creative director, Trudy Van Stralen. Trudy battled a Rheumatological condition for over 10 years which had slowly been deteriorating until mid-June, when she quickly became too weak to battle any further.
Trudy developed a reputation in the hand dyeing community in the mid 70′s, when she began dyeing with nature’s palette (natural dyes), creating wonderful color ranges of wool fleece, mohair fiber and yarn. She sold her handspun yarns and dyed fibers from her small shop, Hilltop Wools, in the same location that Louet North America now calls home. Trudy is the author of one of the most comprehensive Natural Dye books: Indigo, Madder, Marigold, a book that is still used today as a textbook for schools and a bible for dyeing by many new dyers. In addition to her written work, Trudy taught dyeing throughout North America in the 1990’s.
Trudy’s passion for fiber arts began when she learned to knit at a young age during the post-WWII years in Holland; in the 1970’s she taught herself to spin and weave (in addition to dyeing wool and yarn). Trudy created woven garments and was a frequent contributor to Handwoven and Spin-Off Magazines in the early 1980’s. In the late 90’s, Trudy began creating hand knitted garments and patterns, returning to her roots growing up in Holland. Trudy often joked that she knit in “Dutch”. Until 2009, Trudy continued developing knitting patterns with her team of knitters and designers and also designed new yarns for Louet North America.
Trudy’s legacy continues under the direction of her son, David Van Stralen; Louet North America will continue to develop new patterns, yarns and products for the knitting, spinning, weaving and dyeing communities guided by the foundation that Trudy so carefully created during her many years in the fiber arts industry.”