In the course of designing a business that reflected my passion for breed-specific yarns sourced from our own U.S. growers and manufacturers -- I have learned a lot, both about designing yarns and what resources we have here in the U.S. for manufacturing those yarns.
A friend and fellow hand-dyer (Tina Whitmore of Freia Yarns) came to me and challenged me to create a new yarn that was of similar quality to an import in her line but made in the U.S. from U.S. wool --at a competitive price point. And since my agreement to the challenge came before she introduced my wussy, tee-totalling self to Elderberry Lemon Drops -- I can't blame it on anything else other than the rush of the challenge.
We sat down together and worked our what the yarn should look like, how it should behave . . . . and what it needed to cost.
And then I sallied forth . . . .
Although a blended yarn, I still consider it to be breed-specific -- with bling! I found U.S. grown Merino wool sourced through a U.S. top processor for it's consistency, availability, length and (for softness) micron count. For sheen and luxury (and because the original yarn had 30% silk), we added the Mulberry silk. And, strangely enough, this is where the largest difficulty came in meeting our pricing challenge -- not, as we thought, the cost of labor/processing in the U.S. The world price of silk has gone up considerably in the past couple of years, making it very difficult (and costly) to add Mulberry silk to yarn.
And then, further collaboration and serendipity occurred when we decided to partner with Mountain Meadow Wools in Wyoming for our production. While this was not a product they had worked with before, they jumped right in, figured out how to adjust their machinery for our yarn, worked out a fair price, and away we went!
And so, Civility, a 70% U.S. Merino/30% Mulberry silk blended yarn was born -- available in 3-ply worsted, sport and fingering weights, it is a strong, lusterous, practically pill-free yarn!