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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Corn yarn exists. I didn’t know this. Did you?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.