Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Introducing: Vegan Art Yarns

When I started spinning, about eight years ago, I started testing many different types of fibre. As the possibility of sock knitting and of spinning my own sock yarns occurred to me, I bought some artificial fibres to make the yarn sturdier. I never spun my own sock yarn, as I then dived into the complex and enjoyable art of spinning art yarns, and the artificial fibres (which I didn't like much, as a concept, I much preferred wool) were forgotten in one of my stash drawers. Until someone asked me to spin a wool-free yarn to due allergies. And then another person asked me to spin a vegan yarn. I took out the artificial fibres again, and bought black viscose fibres as an addition, which is a fantastic fibre, by the way! Anyway, I started rethinking the concept of artificial fibres, and although I personally still prefer wool (and alpaca fibre!), I thought that some people might want art yarns made from artificial fibres, due to health or ethic reasons, and why should I not give it a try?

I went ahead and spun the Flower-Eating Dragon - which sold before I could even list it in the shop (sometimes people see photo previews of a new yarn on our Facebook page and request a reservation before I get around to listing the yarn in question. Not complaining here! It's the best of compliments :-))

I liked how it turned out. The black viscose gave it a sleek, smooth look, and it felt kind of flowing, very drapey. I decided to experiment more, and I've been carding vegan batts and spinning them into art yarns :-) (unfortunately, the pictures could be better...)

Melting Ice
White artificial fibre (details unknown), carbonized bamboo, turquoise bamboo, white bamboo, and glass beads.

Fake Snow
 White artificial fibre (details still unknown), white bamboo, snowflake sequins.

Art Yarn yet to be named
Yellow artificial fibre (no idea what exactly), carbonized bamboo, turquoise bamboo, white bamboo, sequins, glass beads.

The fibres require a bit more attention and spinning skill than wool does, as they tend to be slippery, and bits of fibre tend to fly around and settle in your eyes and mouth. But all things considered, it's worth the extra effort. After spinning, a yarn has to be washed so the twist can set, and afterwards it's usually much less curly than directly after spinning. That's not the case with artificial fibres, as it seems - the yarns were still rather curly after washing.

I will put these in the shop soon. Please note that they have been spun in the same environment as my other yarns, and the fibres have been blended on the same drum carder. I cleaned it extra thoroughly, but the vegan yarns might still contain traces of wool. Very, very light traces, but I still think I should mention that.


  1. I like the dragon yarn - where did you find black viscose fibres? I do like to spin fibres other than silk and wool - I think my favourite is ramie. it is so white and sleek - but far cheaper than silk - and perfect for spinning a strong warp yarn, too! viscose is nice too, but the shine doesn't go with everything.... how about some rustic linen next?:)
    happy spinning

    Bettina (from ireland, where it's not too warm for wool - yet:)

  2. I found the viscose fibres at - they have many colours, and the quality is great. I don't know if they'd ship to Ireland, though, and I suppose it would be expensive.

    I like to blend linen with other fibres, but I am not sure about a pure linen yarn. I will try it some time, but for a very specific project - I once saw jewelry bowls made from linen yarn and starched, which looked fantastic :-)

  3. thanks - yes, they do ship here, but I am going to be in germany in summer - and not very far from moenchengladbach anyway:) I think I have another must-visit on my list:) usually viscose fibres tend to be either only white or in garish colours, but they have lovely stuff on their homepage!
    I think with linen it depends very much on the quality of the fibres (long smooth ones or tow, spinning wet or not etc...) I only spin linen into fine yarns for weaving etc. - it's difficult to blend at home, e.g. with cotton, to make it softer, because the fibre length is just too different. and it stays scratchy to wear for a long time, if it 's not something you can wash often and iron afterwards, to soften the linen!
    and why did I write in english now? anyway, have fun with the spinning:)



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