Saturday, August 19, 2006

Bamboo yarn

I ran into bamboo-based clothing on the internet the other day, and tooling around this morning I decided to see if I could find sources of organic bamboo yarn. Sure enough, I found 'em: The Fiber Underground has something called TIKI organic bamboo fiber. There seems to be a lot of organic bamboo clothing available, but the organic yarn is a bit harder to find.
Earth Friendly Yarns sells something called "Spun Bamboo", a brand name yarn, but it doesn't appear to be specifically organic.

Bamboo is generally considered a sustainable or earth-friendly fiber. According to Nature Moms,
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on this planet. While some think of it as a tree it is actually grass and it grows one third faster than the fastest growing tree; it reaches a harvestable size in three to five years. Some species grow as much as four feet a day. It requires no pesticides, is harvested with no impact to the environment, and is capable of complete regeneration without need to replant. Bamboo also helps mitigate water pollution due to its high nitrogen consumption. This is great news for those conscious of the environment.

Monday, August 07, 2006

organic wool

Just saw this press release: - Release - Yarn Company

Middlebury, VT (PRWEB) August 7, 2006 -- Just in time for the cool days of Fall and the gift-giving holiday season, Vermont Organic Fiber Company (VTOF) is announcing its new “O~Wool™ Classic” line of organic wool hand knitting yarn, offered in color-rich hues. This is the first time yarn made with organic wool has been made widely available to the hand knitting market. The worsted-weight “O~Wool™ Classic” yarn, made from organic Australian Merino wool and spun at a U.S. mill, is perfect for making holiday gifts or as a gift in its own right. The yarn is available in select stores nationwide as well as via major Internet yarn retailers (see retail locations under “O~Wool Yarn” at

Organic wool is part of the rapidly-growing $160 million U.S. organic fiber industry, which grew 44 percent in 2005, according to the Organic Trade Association 2006 Manufacturer Survey released in May. For wool to be certified as organic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that the sheep be fed organic feed and forage from the last third of gestation and be raised without the use of synthetic hormones or pesticides (internal or external). In addition, organic livestock producers are required to ensure that they do not exceed the natural carrying capacity of the land on which their animals graze.

“With the increasing interest in organic fiber products, organic wool sweaters, blankets, throws and the like are becoming more and more commercially available,” says Matthew Mole, VTOF president. “What was missing was the ability of hand knitters to make their own beautiful organic wool products, and in a wide range of colors. With “O~Wool™ Classic” yarn, hand knitters can enjoy using organic wool yarn with the knowledge they are supporting organic production and processing both in the U.S. and around the world.”

To enable the nation’s 53 million knitters to make the most beautiful items, “O~Wool™ Classic” yarn is available in thirteen rich colors perfect for all seasons, including cornflower, plum, sumac and willow. The nature of the yarn gives it excellent stitch definition and the long staple length prevents pilling. The wool is processed in accordance with the Organic Trade Association’s Organic Fiber Processing Standards (

In addition to hand knitting yarn, VTOF currently supplies commercial yarn and fabrics to manufacturers from North America to Europe and Asia, including Ecobaby (San Diego, CA), Fox River Mills (Osage, IA), IBEX (Woodstock, VT), Jasco Fabrics (White Plains ,NY), Maggie’s Organics (Ypsilanti, MI), and Patagonia (Ventura, CA). This year’s organic wool marketplace includes blankets, diapers and diaper covers, gloves, socks and sweaters manufactured from O~Wool™ organic wool. On September 9, 2006, “O~Wool by Jasco™” organic wool fabrics donated by VTOF will be highlighted at the Academy of Art University fashion show as part of Olympus Fashion Week in New York City.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Organic color cotton

One of the niftier organic fibers I've seen is undyed cotton that is naturally soft orange or green. Inua Wool Shop hereabouts has it. Cotton is one of the nastier crops for the environment, with tremendous amounts of pesticides used to grow it. The pesticide-resistant varieties have actually made way for new pests, because the pesticides were too specific to the boll weevil. So organic cotton makes a tremendous difference in the health of the land. According to the Organic Cotton Directory, cotton provides half of all the fiber in the world. So going organic in your clothing will make a significant dent in the poison load of the world.

There's an interesting article on the resurgence of color cotton and organic cotton and breeding at the Organic Consumers Association website.