11 Things I Learned About Yarn from AwareKnits

by Kathryn on August 16, 2011 · 13 comments

in Crochet News

cashmere goats in upshi 500x374 11 Things I Learned About Yarn from AwareKnits

Cashmere Goats

Earlier today I reviewed the book AwareKnits: Knit & Crochet Projects for the Eco-Conscious Stitcher. I’ve learned so much about different yarn types from this book. You definitely need to check out the whole book to get the full story, but here are some of the things that I’ve learned:

  1. Alpaca is naturally lanolin-free. This means that no chemicals are necessary when processing it. That’s good news for the air and water and for you, too.
  2. Bamboo is a highly sustainable natural resource. It grows quickly and can be processed in an environmentally-safe way although that method is costly, which is why good bamboo yarn is pricey.
  3. Camel yarn is similar to alpaca yarn but it’s nicer for the animal because it requires no shearing. It’s coat molts each spring on its own.
  4. Cheap cashmere has caused significant air pollution in China. A huge demand for affordable cashmere yarn means that herds of starving goats eat the grasslands there to non-existence, creating polluted dust storms in the area. It’s worth it for the earth to invest in higher-quality cashmere from organic companies.
  5. Corn yarn exists. I didn’t know this. Did you?
  6. Hemp grows almost anywhere. It is naturally eco-friendly, requiring very little in the way of pesticides and other chemicals. Plus it gets softer every time you wear it so it’s durable in terms of a crochet fabric!
  7. Jute is a biodegradable, sustainable plant fiber that is very affordable. I should look into this since I haven’t ever crocheted anything with jute before. Have you? It’s rough but would be good for something like a rug.
  8. Organic cotton means that the cotton plant is not genetically modified, comes from a pesticide-free field and isn’t processed using a chemically-intensive process.
  9. Organic wool refers to wool from free-range sheep that are raised humanely. They are also fed organic food, raised on pesticide-free land and the wool is not chemically processed.
  10. Silk yarn decomposes easily. You can get Wild Silk yarn, which means that the silkworms were allowed to emerge unharmed from the cocoon before the silk was harvested. How sweet.
  11. Soy yarn is made from recycling what would otherwise go to waste in tofu production but it’s not completely eco-friendly. That’s because it requires chemically intensive processing.
Do you use any of these types of eco-friendly yarn?
pinit fg en rect gray 28 11 Things I Learned About Yarn from AwareKnits

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1 comments
WhiteRavenSoars
WhiteRavenSoars

I LOVE corn yarn, it is super soft!!!! And, shearing is necessary for alpacas and sheep...without it they would gather so much wool it gets too heavy and can hurt them. Also, many people who are allergic to wool are not allergic to Alpaca...

HicksNeunertStephanie
HicksNeunertStephanie

I'm so glad you posted this! I love knitting with wool, but then I learned that sheep are subjected to cruel conditions and practices and that just broke my heart. So I'm glad to know that there are places to get organic wool. This is a great resource for me.

rootsandbones
rootsandbones

I have just learnt about corn yarn today. A friend brought me some that's part wool, part corn fibre because she didn't have a use for it. I have no idea how it's made, but it feels like it will be nice to wear/use.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] here about eco-friendly and sustainable yarn. In fact I followed it up with an article called 11 Things I Learned About Yarn from Aware Knits. Plus this topic inspired me to write a post about eco-friendly crochet [...]

  2. [...] I recently learned about this issue by reading AwareKnits, the book by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong that discusses all aspects of being an eco-friendly needleworker. Cashmere, when not farmed properly and ethically, can be really bad for the environment. As I wrote in the 11 Things I Learned from AwareKnits: [...]

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