Last Friday I travelled to Cologne for H+H, the international trade fair for creative handicraft and hobby supplies. It’s the largest trade fair for textile hobby supplies in Europe, the place to be for discovering new trends and finding new suppliers. I’ve been looking specifically for new certified organic yarns. In the next few lines I’ll tell you what I’ve learned this year.
Let’s list what existed so far with a GOTS certificate.
BC Garn has Bio Shetland, Bio Balance and Semilla Melange.
Rosy Green Wool has Cheeky Merino Joy, Big Merino Hug and Manx Merino Fine.
Lane Mondial has Bio Lana, Cotton Soft Bio and Bio Soft.
And there’s Garthenor, since the beginning of times.
Over the last year quite a few new yarns have been added to the range, some by suppliers extending their current range, other by suppliers entering the certified organic market.
Lane Mondial has added two new sizes to the Bio Lana range: Bio Lana Fine (last summer) and Bio Lana Big (new at the trade fair and not online yet).
Bio Lana Fine is a classic knitting yarn for needle size 3,5 – 4,5 mm. A ball of 50 g has a length of 175 m. There are 20 colours.
Bio Lana Big is a 100% organic wool roving yarn, but I forgot to write down the details and there’s no web page!
Rosy Green Wool found a source for merino wool in Europe and added Merino d’Arles in 11 colours to their range. It’s a fine knitting yarn for needle size 2,5 – 3 mm composed of 100% organic French Merino d’Arles wool and you get 200 m on a hank of 50 g.
Rosários4, a Portuguese spinning mill and yarn brand with a range of eco-friendly yarns now has a GOTS certificate for some of their existing yarns.
Belmonte is a mix of 50% organic cotton and 50% organic wool. As opposed to other cotton-wool combinations Rosarios4 have obtained the mix by plying a cotton and a wool strand before dyeing, resulting in a two-tone marl of the same colour. Nice! Belmonte is designed for needle size 3,5 – 4,5 mm and comes in 11 different colours. A ball of 50 g measures 125 m.
Bio Love is a fine 100% organic cotton yarn for needle size 3 – 3,5 mm. It comes in 16 different shades but it’s not online yet. A ball of 50 g measures 175 m.
Bio Wool is an aran weight knitting yarn for needle size 5,5 mm, 72 m for 50 g, 100% organic wool and available in 15 colours.
Ecocotton Ecologico in 100% organic cotton has been designed for needle size 5 mm. Balls of 50 g measure 95 m. Not online yet.
For Nature and For Nature Print are composed of 100% organic cotton and require needle size 3,5 – 4 mm. For Nature comes in 50 g balls, For Nature Print comes in 50 g hanks, both measuring 150 m. There are 28 colours of For Nature and 11 colour combinations of For Nature Print.
Lalalã is a roving yarn for needle size 15 mm and up, available in 9 colours and composed of 100% organic wool. A ball of 200 g gets you 50 m of yarn.
The good news here is that Rosários4 has a slightly lower price setting than we’re used to for certified organic yarn. I didn’t do a price search on the internet, but based on the wholesales price I’d assume you would be able to find a ball of Bio Wool for less than 4,50 €.
Schoppel makes a first entry in the organic market with Bio Merinos, a mix of 95% felted organic merino wool and 5% linen from France, in a range of 9 bright colours. 150 m on balls of 50 g, needle size 2,5 – 3,5 mm.
Plassard launches Bio-Logic, an insanely soft cotton in 5 equally soft pastel colours, sourced in Greece and spun in Italy, aimed at the newborn market. A ball of 50 g measures 125 m. It’s supposed to be knit with 4 mm needles.
It looks somewhat as a trend. There’s more choice now than a year ago and well established brands enter the market. New yarn sizes and colour ranges open new options for us organic knitters. With the exception of the 5% linen in Shoppel’s Bio Merinos the fibre content stays limited to sheep wool and cotton because other fibres are difficult to get in a certified organic version.
I might have missed out on some products. If you know about new or existing GOTS certified yarns that I didn’t mention here, I’ll be glad to hear about it!
One more thing: the people from BC Garn will retire soon. They’ve sold the brand to their German distributor Schmeichel Partner who will continue the existing range of yarns.