Tools + Supplies

Published on August 7th, 2008 | by Kelly Rand


Yearn Worthy Yarn: Tencel

tencel yarn Don’t forget! The next Carnival of Green Crafts will be August 9th at BlogHer. Send in your submissions now.

It’s not often that you come across a different type of fiber found in your yarn. There are only so many animal (alpaca, bison, musk ox, etc.) and plant (linen, cotton, etc.) based yarns. So I was pleasantly surprised when I happened upon tencel.

Tencel is made from wood pulp that is spun down to make the fiber. The process boasts environmental claims as the pulp that is harvested comes from tree farms that are continuously replanted and the spinning process uses non-toxic solvents.

As a yarn tencel is strong and durable. It resists wrinkles and can hold a shape. It also has the look of silk and carries a nice warm luster. It is a washable fiber and dyes easily and weavers like to use it for these qualities.

You can find 100% tencel at Halcyon Yarn. They offer it in a variety of colors on mini cones and 1 pound cones. But tencel is most often found in yarn blends, either with cotton or wool. Cascade Yarns offer a 50/50 blend of pima cotton and tencel.

My favorite, though, is One Planet Yarn and Fiber’s blend: Radiance. Radiance is a super wash merino wool/tencel blend. The result is a lightweight wool that is soft and can be worn virtually year round. Their variegated colorways are simply wonderful. I especially love beach, ember and snapdragon.

Etsy also had a wealth of spinners using tencel in their blends. A quick search here found a plethora of yummy yarns and batts using some percentage of tencel to create wonderful blends and colorways. If you have the urge to check out this plant based fiber, I highly recommend finding a tencel blend here.

More Fiber and Fabric:

[Image credit: Halcyon Yarn]

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.

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