As artists, we enjoy working with all sorts of unique fibres specializing in luxury minimalistic modern colours and designs. Each fibre offers it's own unique qualities making each piece extra special and extra unique. We do offer fibre suggestions for most pieces as some yarns do not work well with certain designs. Please feel free to ask us any questions about the information below.
Acrylic is the most basic yarn we offer. It's wonderful in that it's readily available in every colour imaginable, and comes in every weight, making it fully compatible for all knitting patterns.
Acrylic yarns are extremely versatile in that they can be washed, and dried in your home clothes washer and dryer with virtually no consequences. It's also our lowest priced option should you want a custom design but at a very affordable price.
Some drawbacks to Acrylic yarn are that it can be itchy and stiff which can sometimes irritate baby skin. Although the yarn itself does not pose an allergy risk, the stiffness can be an issue for some of our clients with sensitive skin. The good news is that the more you wash (most) acrylics, the more they soften. Acrylic is also a synthetic fibre which can be warm, but often doesn't breathe very well.
Wool is a very traditional, popular, and classic fibre to choose to work with. In terms of pricing, it's slightly more expensive than Acrylic however, the price difference can be negligible depending on the item (smaller items would have an increase of >$5) if 'upgraded' to wool. Larger pieces, could add up in price depending on the amount required.
The general inexpensive, but more traditional wool comes from sheep. These fibres, similar to Acrylic, are also very versatile in both colour and thickness (weight) and can be used for a variety of different pieces. Wool is extremely warm, and a great insulator for cold weather pieces. It's also a natural fibre that is available as "organic" at an increased price of course.
A common drawback to wool are allergens which can be a hazard to someone with an allergy to dander or animal fur. I have this allergy myself, so I do not work with wools that cause irritation to my skin. As well, wool can be very difficult to care for. It tends to shrink when wet, and most wools are dry clean only. A good way to get the best of both worlds if you are stuck on having a wool piece, is to use “blended” yarns which include a certain percentage of wool, mixed with a certain percentage of “other” fibre (generally synthetic like acrylic, nylon or polyester). Blended fibres tend to reduce allergens, and give all the advantages to working with wool, but can also be machine washable.
Alpaca’s are large animals that look similar to llama’s. They are found all over the world and alpaca yarns come from a variety of different countries in a variety of different qualities. Alpaca fibres are generally versatile and can be used for almost all pieces. They come in a variety of classifications with some more expensive than others and some “organically” made and dyed.
Alpaca is a great fibre if you want performance but don’t mind paying a little extra for something special. Most fibres are generally very soft, they have an excellent drape and can also be found as a “blend” with other luxury fibres such as silk, cashmere, or wool. Any variety of baby alpaca wool is generally the most expensive, but also the softest. It’s a natural fibre that doesn’t possess the same “itchy” feel as wool does. I have not experienced any allergies so far with any type of alpaca I’ve ever worked with.
Some drawbacks to alpaca is for certain bulkier pieces or pieces that require structure and stiffness, 100% Alpaca may not be an ideal choice. As well, it could present an allergy concern should you have a unique allergy to Alpaca fur, however I have yet to experience this (and I have very sensitive allergies). Alpaca can also be very specific to care for. Most pieces can be hand washed in cold water, and laid flat to dry. Some more luxury blends might be dry clean only.
Merino wool comes from sheep and, like alpaca’s, merino’s can be found virtually all over the world. Merino wool comes in a variety of different colours and thicknesses (weights) and can be a versatile luxury choice if you want something a little different.
Merino can vary in it’s feel in that it can be very soft and gentle for baby, but can also be stiffer and bulkier for something such as a blanket or rug. Merino wool can be priced similarly to Alpaca in that they are both more expensive than regular wool or acrylic, but is just as readily available and easy to obtain. Merino can be available in an endless variety of “blended” yarns as basic as a merino/acrylic blend, all the way to merino/cashmere blend depending on your price range.
Even though Merino is a natural fibre, I have yet to find one I am allergic too, so I would say it does not pose an allergy risk. Merino can be expensive, and difficult to care for depending on the blend. Some Merinos are dry clean only.
Cotton is a natural fibre that comes from the cotton plant. It is very commonly used in most of the clothing we wear today because of its versatility and breathability. It’s also very easy to clean, and generally durable.
Most general cotton yarns are used for pieces like dishcloths, coasters, placemats, and baby bibs. The fibre is generally very stiff and doesn’t possess much stretch making it perfect for flat items that won’t do much moving or bending. Common cottons are very inexpensive and are perfect for every day use. These pieces can be washed, dried, and used a million times!
Cottons also come in more luxury versions such as Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton, Organic versions, and blends such as Cotton/Cashmere or Cotton/Bamboo. These luxury yarns are softer, making them more suitable for pieces like sweaters or afghans than the stiffer counterpart. Blends of cotton are limited to weight, and availability of colours. They are also more expensive, and can be difficult to care for.
Bamboo fibres are just as described, made from the bamboo plant. Bamboo has become increasingly popular for the plants renewability, versatility, and breathability as a fibre. With similar properties to Cotton, Bamboo can be an excellent alternative for lighter, more breathable pieces.
Bamboo comes in several different weights, but can be limited to what you can find. Depending on the piece, Bamboo can be slightly stiffer, and possess very little stretch qualities. Bamboo would be most ideal for light sweaters or baby jumpers, however some blended Bamboo fibres can be used for pieces that require more stretch such as hats or booties.
Bamboo is generally easy to care for, similar to cotton, but this depends on the blend. Higher end Bamboo blends are softer, more flexible, but are difficult to care for with some being dry clean only.
Cashmere & Silk
Some of the nicest yarns we’ve ever worked with are Cashmere or Silk based. Cashmere is a very fine soft wool that comes from the Cashmere goat where as Silk is a fibre produced and harvested from silk worms. Both fibres often come as blends with any of the yarns listed above as pure (100%) versions of either fibre can be very expensive and difficult to find.
A piece made from Cashmere or Silk will definitely be unique. These yarns possess some of the best drape for scarves, sweaters, and hats but often lack the stiffness required for more utilitarian pieces such as mittens or slippers. They come in a variety of different weights, although bulkier weights in either of these fibres can be very difficult to find. Colours can also be limited depending on what is available, but often colours in these fibres are muted and natural.
A huge drawback to these fibres is mainly price. I think everyone would love a cashmere sweater, but obtaining enough yarn can be a sourcing issue, along with the high price tag. These fibres are almost always dry clean only and come with very strict care instructions. Pieces made from these fibres are delicate, and not intended for regular “wear-and-tear” items.
By luxury “furs” we mean every other fur or animal hair that you can possibly make a yarn for. Some popular selections we’ve worked with include fibres such as Mohair (long hair of angora goat), Angora (rabbit hair), Yak fur, Possum Tail, Camel, and Llama just to name a few. We always try to source unique fibres for our clients so we take every opportunity to work with new items as long as they suit the piece.
The advantage to unique furs results in a true one-of-a-kind piece. Most of these furs are very soft and have excellent drape. Fibres such as Angora and Possom have a lovely “halo” of fuzz that create a very soft and cuddly piece that’s perfect for hats, or delicate pieces for baby. Unique animal furs, similar to cashmere and silk, come in a variety of different “blended” yarns which can be beneficial for increasing the durability of the yarn, as well as lowering the price.
Some disadvantages as these fibres are rare, and are often hard to find. Colour’s are usually “seasonal” and are generally muted and natural. They are also limited in weight, as they can be difficult to find in a super bulky. Price for these fibres is varied, but is generally on the higher end. Similar to Cashmere and Silk, as the concentration of the fur goes up in a “blend” so does the price (100% fur being the most expensive).
We do our best to find the most unique yarn for your piece and price range. E-mail us with your idea and thoughts on fibre selection, and we will send you a quote with our suggestions and price ranges!
**NOTE: We do not work with Mohair anymore as I am allergic to this fibre. Please let us know if you are considering requesting Mohair for your piece!