In a previous post, we shared the steps involved in creating our yarns, from raw fleece to spun yarn. Today we would like to share with you the extra steps we take with several of our yarn lines to lessen our environmental impact. The GREENSPUN process is an extension of the environmental concerns basic to our founding in 1981.
In the early -1990s, the Spinnery switched to non-petroleum-based biodegradable soaps for scouring fibers. We also developed a spinning oil formula based on organic canola oil for processing fiber. The first experiment on using unconventional soaps and oils grew out of a request from Espirt the sportswear manufacturer. They were looking for yarns that were completely petroleum-free for their “Ecollection” line of clothes. The Spinnery worked to develop a petroleum free process for the Esprit yarns and then integrated these gentle and ecologically safe practices into our GREENSPUN processing method. No chemicals are used to bleach, shrink-proof, or moth-proof. Used for all our GREENSPUN and Certified Organic yarns, these methods enhance the unique qualities of the natural fibers. Customers with chemical sensitivities have been relieved to find and are enthusiastic about our chemical-free natural fiber yarns.
Our first GREENSPUN product was Green Mountain Green – a luxurious blend of 40% premium kid mohair and 60% fine American wool. The yarn comes in 3 natural colors a white and natural dark gray and a variegated grey to white. Its softness and warmth make it perfect for hats, scarves like the Ascutney Aran Hat and Emilie’s Hooded scarf.
The next GREENSPUN yarns were the natural colored Cotton Comfort , Silver, Winter Beech and Unbleached White. This versatile DK weight blend of 20% organic cotton and 80% fine wool was featured in the very successful 2006 book Natural Knits for Babies and Moms by Louisa Harding . Knitters really want to know what is in their yarn how it s made and are very eager for a “green” option especially when knitting for babies. Popular patterns from the Spinnery include Peanut by Cap Sease and Grandma’s Delight by Libby Mills. Other GREENSPUN options have quickly followed including the natural colors of the Alpaca Elegance line and the perfection of our Certified Organic processing.
How about more pattern inspiration for the GREENSPUN yarns? First up, one our most “hearted” pattern on Ravelry.com, the Turkish Rose Mittens knit in Alpaca Elegance. Designed by Cap Sease, these are luxurious mittens inspired by a Turkish Sock Pattern. Our newest mitten pattern is the Bumpity Mittens, also designed by Cap Sease. Its deep texture is deceptive, making it look like four colors are used instead of just two. Speaking of color, we have six natural colors and six heathered colors of Alpaca Elegance available.