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Alpaca fibre is harvested from a group of animals biologically known as the South American Camelidae family, which consists of four types of llama: Alpaca, Llama, Vicuña, and Guanaco. Alpaca yarn is ideal for producing a hard-wearing and very light garment, with great insulating properties. The alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a South American mountain animal, principally found in Peru and Ecuador, smaller numbers are also found in the northern parts of Bolivia and Chile. There are two types of alpaca. The huacaya (pronounced wua'ki'ya) produce a dense, soft sheep-like fibre with a uniform crimp. The suri (pronounced soo'ree) have silky, pencil-fine, mop-like locks. Suris make up the remaining 20% of the population and are prized for their finer, longer fibres. Both types are highly valued. Fibre from the huacayas is known as alpaca fleece, while the fibre from suris as alpaca suri. Alpaca farming is of low impact to the environment and therefore an interesting alternative for some sheep farmers

Amigurumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small stuffed animals and dolls, using the basic techniques of crochet
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Cashmere is a goat fibre. Goats are from the Caprinae subfamily of the Bovidae family of animals, and are relatives of sheep. The domesticated goat is a subspecies of the wild goats of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. Most goats have the capability to yield fibre; however, the most important fibre-producing goats are the cashmere and angora goats. Cashmere goats originated high up in the plateau regions of the Himalayan mountains. The local Kashmiri population span the fibre from the goat's downy undercoat, weave it into the fine fabric and make it into shawls known as pashmina. Cashmere is not a breed of goat, but a description of a goat that has been carefully bred to produce a fine downy undercoat, the cashmere fibre. The cashmere fibres are very adaptive and can be spun into either fine or thick yarns to produce light or heavyweight garments. Cashmere is, weight for weight, warmer than wool. An important and luxurious fibre, global cashmere production is believed to be around 1% of the total textile market, putting into perspective its uniqueness. The fibre is harvested in Mongolia, China, Iran, Afganistan, Australia and New Zealand and sold to Italy, Japan and Scotland - the three principal countries renowned for sophisticated and innovative cashmere spinning, knitting and weaving

Cotton is a soft fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant, which is grown between latitudes 45 degrees north and 35 degrees south. In tropical climates cotton is a perennial crop. Typical untreated cotton has a matt lustre, soft and smooth touch. Cotton garments have a good level of moisture absorption. Dyed cotton retains its colour longer if washed in warm or cool water. Mercerized cotton is a treatment applied to the cotton to give it a more lustrous and smoother appearance

Scheepjes is the popular Dutch yarn brand. Renowned for its excellent quality and bold colours, Scheepjes yarns have fans from all over the world! After 200 years of history of ups and downs, almost 10 years ago this genuine Dutch brand name was brought back to life by its current owner - a family-owned business located in Tynaarlo - the eastern Netherlands, who since then have managed to creatively combine the versatility of their yarns with the talents of the best designers

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20% off Malabrigo Rios, Mecha and Merino Worsted. Use Code MALABRIGOFAVES. Ends May 10, 2019
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The wool from the merino sheep is a statement of luxury. It is soft and supple with year-round comfort. Superfine merino yarn is one of the finest and softest of all and is often used for blending with prestigious fibers such as silk, cashmere, and alpaca. The merino was originally indigenous to Asia Minor, then introduced into Spain via North Africa by the Romans. An important characteristic of merino wool is the tightness and spring of its crimp (a natural wave that allows air to be trapped within the structure, giving wool its natural insulating quality), as well as the length of its staple, which varies from 6 to 10 cm in length

Misti Alpaca Yarns is a famiy-owned business bringing to the knitter a four-generation alpaca legacy as well as the millenary textile tradition of ancient Peruvians. Misti Alpaca Yarns remains linked to the alpaca industry in all its stages from raising alpacas to hand-painting their alpaca yarns.

''We are conscious that Peru has been privileged with this magnificent creature, the alpaca, or as we say - Gold of the Andes!'' Misti Alpaca Yarns

Mohair, from angora goats, is a luxury fibre that is white, smooth and lustrous with a high tensile strength. It is composed of keratin, a protein substance. A cross-section of mohair will be slightly elliptical compared to wool, which is rounder. The scales on the fibre are larger but lie flatter, making the fibre smoother and therefore more light-reflective, hence the lustre
Behind this unique brand are two Italian craftmakers Andrea and Paola, a veterinarian and an expert of Chinese culture by education. After many years of working and traveling throughout China and Tibet they came up with an idea to link the modern world and the traditional practices of Tibetan nomadic herders, creating unique fiber for those who appreciate working with indigenous and nature-friendly material.

Slowly but steadily there are now a growing number of farmers moving towards a more organic, ecologically sound and socially sustainable method of production. 

Organic agricultural methods rely upon crop rotation and the use of natural enemies, such as ladybirds, to suppress harmful insects, rather than the use of agrochemicals, artificial fertilizers and other toxic-persistent chemicals

There are over 200 varieties of wild silk moths from all over the world that naturally produce silk. The much-prized filament is produced by the Bombyx mori moth pupa. Silk is extraordinary strong in relation to both fibre dimension and perception of its delicate nature. It is stronger than wool or cotton and weight for weight is stronger than steel. Its isothermal properties make it feel cool in summer and warm in winter. Silk yarn is highly prized for its lustre and shimmering appearance, a result of the fibre's unique triangular, prism-like structure that allows the garments knit from it to refract incoming light at different angles

The natural properties of wool make it flexible, resilient, insulative, absorbent, hygienic and mouldable. Wool is an organic compound composed of keratin, an animal protein. As distinct from hair or fur, wool has many tiny overlapping scales that point in the same direction. The predominant natural colour of of wool is a creamy white, although some sheep breeds produce other natural colous , such as brown, black and silver, as well as some random mixes
Yaks (Bos grunniens) were domesticated in the 1st millennium BC in what is now Tibet. They inhabit the steppe regions around the Himalayan plateau, living above the snow levels during warmer summer months and descending to lower levels in the colder winter months. The majority of yaks are domesticated, however, there is a dwindling number of vulnerable wild yaks remaining. Yak fibre is structurally different to sheep fibre: the angle between the scales and the hair shaft on the external surface of the fibre is smaller than that of wool, so the scales stick to the shaft and feel smoother. It also has greater tensile strength than sheep's wool. The yarn spun from yak fibre has a cashmere-like feel and is very lofty