There’s more than one way to get colour on yarn.
Tomorrow when we re-open the shop, we’ll be offering a collection of yarns and fibres under the name “Supernatural SweetGeorgia”. Natural and plant dyes create some of the most beautifully nuanced and luscious colours in our history. These colours are full of life and energy. Supernatural SweetGeorgia is our collection of yarns and fibres from organic, sustainable and renewable sources that are hand-dyed with natural and plant dyes. Multiple overdyes and multi-step processes… there’s a whole lot of love in these yarns.
As a knitter, spinner and weaver, I am well aware of the beauty and benefits of using natural fibres like silk, wool, or linen. But then things became more a little complicated with the release of products like soy silk, bamboo, ingeo, organic wool, and organic cotton. What’s good to use? What’s responsible to use? How do I sort out the options? I am, more than ever, conflicted about the choices.
We are inundated with publicity about “green” products and “sustainability”… just this month’s [Knit.1 mag](https://knit1mag.com/) is entitled “The Green Issue” in which they discuss knitting, eco-activism, and organic yarns. Vogue Patterns’ April/May 2008 issue has an article called “Sewing Green” which describes all eco-friendly fabrics. Rowan’s latest magazine features their new “green” line called PureLife. There is [Amy Singer’s book “No Sheep For You”](https://amysinger.ca/books.html) which details all sorts of alternative natural fibres… and also [Shannon Okey’s new book “Alt Fiber”](https://www.knitgrrl.com/?page_id=534) which delves into even more obscure alternative fibres like pineapple ramie and kenaf. You can’t escape what seems like the immense pressure to make the right and responsible choice.
Treehugger simultaneously [evangelizes about the benefits of bamboo textiles](https://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/05/bamboo_textile.php) while also considering that [maybe bamboo textiles aren’t really sustainable or organic](https://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/09/is_bamboo_cloth.php). Confused? Yeah, me too. I think it’s all too easy to idealize any one particular “new” fibre or textile and to put something on a pedestal without investigation or scrutiny. In no way do I believe that I have the answers… but I am committed to looking at and studying different options while also encouraging everyone to do the same. Be open and vigilant. Here are some places to start:
* [Sustainability in Textiles: An Overview (Worsted Witch)](https://www.worstedwitch.com/2006/04/02/sustainability-in-textiles-an-overview/)
* [Greensleeves: Sustainability in the Fiber & Textile Arts (Worsted Witch)](https://www.worstedwitch.com/greensleeves-on-sustainable-fibers/)
* [Eco-Tip: Mini Directory of Green Fabrics (TreeHugger)](https://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/02/ecotip_mini_dir.php)
* [Sustainable Clothing: Emerging Standards (OrganicClothing)](https://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2006/05/sustainable_clo.html)
* [Tencel: Sustainable but not necessarily healthy (OrganicClothing)](https://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2005/11/tencel_sustaina.html)
* [Bamboo: Facts behind the Fiber (OrganicClothing)](https://organicclothing.blogs.com/my_weblog/2007/09/bamboo-facts-be.html)
* [Green Knitter: Natural, Organic and Eco-friendly Yarn Chart](https://greenknitter.com/chart.htm)
In tomorrow’s update, we’ll have some naturally dyed bamboo and silk yarns. And in future updates, we’ll also have organic wools in worsted weight. I’ve just dyed some in pomegranate and it’s lovely, squishy stuff. Pomegranate-dyed organic merino yarn might not entirely save the world, but hey, I’m trying.
1% of the proceeds from the Supernatural SweetGeorgia collection will be directed to OnePercentForThePlanet, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet. Members donate at least 1% of their annual net revenues to environmental organizations worldwide.
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