I recently made a painful discovery–acrylic yarn is a type of plastic called acryonile. Ugh! I feel a bit foolish that I just figured this out. I mean, what was I thinking it was made of? But worse than the foolish feeling is knowing I will for the most part, need to give up yarns that are primarily artificial blends. This is a tough thing for me because I love acrylic yarn!
I love how soft it can be, I love the easy care and of course, I love its affordability! However, I love the earth too and I have made a conscious effort to reduce my consumption of plastic since it can hang around in the dump for many, many years.
According to the blog on Darn Good Yarn acrylic yarns can take up to 200 years to biodegrade! I don’t want to be a contributor to the glut of plastics already plaguing our planet.
However, I am aware I am fortunate to be able to afford natural fibers. And I am also fortunate not to have a wool allergy. So there is no judgment from me about others’ choices for their crafting. I just know that for me, I wouldn’t love my finished items as much if I were to continue to buy and make with synthetics. Once my stash is used up, that’s it! I will be supporting local yarn stores and indie dyers much more.
One excellent small business I have discovered is The Frogger Niagara or Maria Derkach on Etsy. She takes clothing made of luxury yarns from second hand stores, frogs them, and cakes or skeins the yarn. I have bought several recycled cakes from her and I was very happy. Her prices are budget friendly too!
I know I will miss going into a chain or big box store and choosing whatever catches my fancy. I love the rush of creativity I feel with endless possibilities. But in the end, I think this small sacrifice will bring me a feeling of lasting joy and satisfaction.
What’s your opinion? What type of yarn do you prefer to use?
5 thoughts on “Bye-Bye Synthetic Fibers”
I’m wondering if you can post the yarns and link to pattern. I would like to recreate the cozy Sunday shawl exactly. It’s my colors and textures and groove but i don’t see the pattern link nor the materials. Thanks
Amy~ Oh of course! I apologize for the oversight. The pattern is by Kateryna Wiggins Designs. I purchased it from her Ravelry store: https://www.ravelry.com/stores/kateryna-wiggins-designs.
For the yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids in Italian Plum. I needed almost 2 skeins.
Also, Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet in Vivid Caribbean Mix. I used about 1.5 skeins. Hope this helps! I would love to see it when you finish it.
Personally, I ask the questions – under what circumstances would my knitted or crocheted item end up abandoned and in, say, the landfill? Under the rigours of normal use, which fibre is the most practical, long wearing, etc? From a creative perspective, is there a big artistic compromise to choosing one product over another?
Because I primarily make small art like pieces, I choose yarns for their creative value only. If the yarn has a bigger environmental footprint, so be it. I can do my part for the environment in many other larger ways.
Thank you for sharing your perspectives. Yes, I agree there are other ways to live in good relationship to the environment and nature.
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