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  • We're here to help you stitch sustainability into every aspect of your making.

    With our carefully curated selection of non-superwash, plastic-free yarns and notions, we have everything you need to get started on your next project - and the one after that.

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  • Can a Silk Mohair Yarn be sustainable?

    September 07, 2023 3 min read

    Hi lovelies!

    I'm thrilled to be back in this space, and with something really, really exciting at that! For the past year, I've been on the hunt for a sustainably-produced fluffy yarn - we used to carry Knitting for Olive's Soft Silk Mohair which is delightful, but also... everyone has it now? So I was looking for something that was a little out of the ordinary, but also responsibly sourced, and as it goes with anything that involves mohair and silk, that was really hard.

    Cue De Rerum Natura, who secretly have been working behind the scenes at exactly that yarn I'd been looking for: An "as sustainably as it can get" fluff yarn that works perfectly for a broad range of projects, from whispers of lace shawls to holding it together with more substantial yarns.

    De Rerum Natura Bérénice
    Bérénice is a blend of RMS-certified super kid mohair, organic Merino d'Arles, and silk. Let's get into these three fibers:

    Mohair is tricky to source because of animal welfare concerns, and RMS is the certification with highest standards both when it comes to how the fiber is grown (hello angora goats!) and to how it is processed. So going with RMS-certified mohair is the best way to go! The majority of RMS-certified mohair comes from South Africa, which is also where the mohair that is blended into Bérénice is sourced.

    Merino d'Arles - organic! - is a fabulous sub-breed of Merino from France. It's bouncy and lofty, and what makes up a good portion of both Ulysse and Gilliatt, two other fabulous yarns from De Rerum Natura. The Merino d'Arles we have in Bérénice is from Provence, a wonderful province in the South of France (lavender fields! hot summer days!)

    The RMS-certified Mohair and the organic Merino d'Arles are blended together which I think is a fantastic idea. By cutting down on the amount of mohair that is needed for this type of yarn, De Rerum Natura reduces the carbon footprint of the entire yarn and keeps its commitment to support the French shepherding community.

    Lastly, silk. There's no way around it: This type of yarn needs a silk core. Up until a few months ago, there were fluffy yarns available that used "peace silk", i.e. silk that was harvested from silk cocoons after the silk moths had hatched. Sadly, the quantity of peace silk has gone down dramatically, and so - to my knowledge - there's currently no way to produce this type of fluff yarn with peace silk. The silk De Rerum Natura uses is sourced in China, which is one of the very few countries for which silk production is still doable. Is this my favorite? No. Do I know that De Rerum Natura has done their best here? Yes. Is this "the best" "the best possible"? Also yes.

    The entire processing of this yarn is done in Italy, as close to De Rerum Natura's homebase in France as possible. You need a specific type of spinning equipment to make this type of yarn, and Italy is a fantastic choice. What's more, they've gone for GOTS-certified dye materials which are environmentally friendly!

    So - if we want a fluffy yarn, we wanted to aim for one that reduces the environmental impact of all steps and materials involved as much as possible. I think De Rerum Natura has done an excellent job at that here - and, what's more, the resulting yarn is fantastic. Bérénice knits up like a dream, both held alone and together with other yarns! Check out our pattern inspiration post, and get some Bérénice to play with!

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