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  • Get to Know: Pernelle, our first 100% hemp yarn!

    April 02, 2024 3 min read 1 Comment

    Hi lovelies! As you might know, we are slowly, surely expanding the portfolio of the shop – I am always on the lookout for wonderful sustainable yarns that might fill gaps we still have, and one that was on the list since last summer was an additional spring / summer yarn.

    When I learned about Natissea, a French yarn company dedicated to organic plant yarns, from Audrey Borrego last year, I immediately contacted them to order some samples. As soon as I had Pernelle, their 100% European hemp yarn, on the needles, it was love – grippy, but not ropey, with a lovely drape that only got stronger after a good washing and blocking session.

    The shade cards had me swooning too – a really comprehensive, well-composed range of colors with something for everyone in it, from neutrals to spring-inspired pastels to deep jewel tones.

    Natissea Pernelle

     

    So I was so pleased when Natissea accepted us as a stockist – and I am extra excited to introduce Pernelle to you. Our first 100% hemp yarn, perfect for summer tops, T-Shirts, and lightweight sweaters!

    I reached out to Mathilde over at Natissea and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about Pernelle. I loved reading her answers!

    Could you walk us through the process of creating Pernelle? Where does the hemp come from, is spun, and then dyed?

    History tells us that hemp was one of the first plant fibers to be used for clothing. France and Europe have long been the world's leading producers. However, when I
    fell in love with hemp fibers, production was nowhere to be seen! I managed to find a small family run production in Romania and we were able to develop the Pernelle yarn. 

    After harvesting and the various stages of retting, drying and scutching, the hemp is wet-spun (a spinning technique for long hemp fibers). 

    It is then dyed in Northern France in a GOTS-certified dye house. It took almost 10 years to reintroduce flax and hemp in France, but we succeeded in obtaining a French flax yarn from seed to yarn in 2022, and the first conclusive 100% hemp tests were carried out the following year! French hemp will soon be arriving at Natissea!

    Why did you want to create a hemp yarn?

    I've been knitting since I was a child, thanks to my grandmother who taught me the basic stitches. It is a hobby of mine.

    After my studies in fashion design, my first job was in the fabric trade industry. That's how I met a young student who was traveling the world in search of the most ecological and sustainable fibers possible. He explained me that hemp was the most sustainable cultivation ever and I immediately wanted to knit this fiber and it was love at first sight. 1 year after this meeting, I quit my job to create Natissea!

    How is a hemp yarn like Pernelle different from linen and cotton yarns?

    Hemp and linen fibers are quite similar, in fact they're related plants with the same natural properties.

    Cotton, on the other hand, is completely different.To begin, in fiber form, and it's not the same spinning process. It has no thermoregulating powers and can sometimes absorb water in very humid weather. I have many customers who no longer knit cotton because of bad experiences (loose yarns, lack of suppleness) but if there's one thing I've learned in the course of perfecting my yarns, it's that there's no such thing as "good or bad fibers", it's the quality, the spinning technique and sufficient twisting that will determine the final quality!

    What's your favorite project you've made in Pernelle?

    That's a very difficult question! I can already say that of all the yarns I offer, it's really the Pernelle 100% hemp quality that I love the most! Its fall, its comfort, its pearly reflections.

    I always say: to try it is to adopt it! And even though I've loved so many projects in this material, I think the first loose-fitting little T-shirt I knitted, the Wutton Sweater by Xiaowei Design, was the one I wore the most. Stockinette-knit hemp softens very quickly and the positive ease increases the insulating property, making this model a joy to wear!

    You can get Pernelle from April 10 onwards through us!

    Natissea Pernelle

    1 Response

    Natalie
    Natalie

    April 12, 2024

    I met Mathilde at the Fête de la laine in Malakoff near Paris last March and I’m delighted to have her back at Making Stories! I find her initiative to create plant-based yarn very interesting. I create knitting patterns and work mainly with wool, for me THE material for knitting! But I’m very curious to discover alternatives, especially when the process of creating these yarns is as ethical as Mathilde’s. I’m also going to try linen (and cotton) knitting with another quality created by Mathilde, Linéa, and I hope to offer a creation made with this yarn.
    I wish Natissea every success and thank Making Stories for talking about these wonderful initiatives !

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