Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Poor Man's Silk
Frequently I mention, either here on the Blog or on my Ravelry.com group (Friends of Wool2Dye4) my surprise at the huge appetite of sock knitters for luxurious fibers like cashmere and silk. I blame the clothing industry to the glut of cashmere on the market, and now we are in a true supply v demand mindset and, still, the appetite for these fibers continues. We'll see how long this wave will roll.
The rise in silk and cashmere fibers affected Wool2Dye4's recent price increase. Nylon, too, rose in price with the more luxurious fibers. We don't usually think of nylon as a luxury, but at these prices, our opinion may just change. Of course many of our custoemrs either personally prefer a sock yarn with nylon in it, or their customers will demand it from them. We hear reports that some knitters turn away from a sock yarn if there is no nylon in it. And, then we have the purists who are 100% wool knitters. I won't mention acrylic here.
In the past month, here in the studio, we have all noticed an increasing interest in Tencel/Merino which is often called The Poor Man's Silk. Those not yet in the know about tencel yarn may be in for a shocking surprise at how very soft and pliable this fiber is. It possesses the very attributes which describe the more expensive fibers, those that are more desired ... strength, innate shine which shows through the dye process ... these are the things we say about silk!
And, Bamboo TwoStep is also starting to become a bit more popular as well. It is actually closer to silk in my opinion, but this particular blend which we carry is an 80/20 blend, so the merino is the main fiber in the yarn. The bamboo is so silky feeling and so smoothe, though, that it makes the perfect fiber partner in that blending and combing and then in the final and lovely yarn itself. I am hoping that both of these yarns will attract interest as people may begin to look at a wider choice of our yarns.