Tools + Supplies

Published on April 20th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

7

Vegan Crafting Made Easy: Knit and Crochet

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vegan yarn
We’ve talked about vegan sewing supplies and vegan soap making, and I don’t want you fiber artists to be left out! There are lots of wonderful options for vegan knit and crochet supplies. It just takes a little bit of extra attention to materials to suss out common animal products.

Vegan Yarns

This big pitfall with yarn is wool. Wool comes from sheep, which means it’s not a vegan product. While smaller farms might treat their sheep humanely, commercial wool comes with a huge dash of animal cruelty. Sheep live in terrible, unhygenic conditions and suffer from mistreatment and cruel practices all in the name of producing merino and other wool yarns. If you want to read more details on the horrors of commercial wool production, This Dish is Veg does an excellent job of explaining what’s cruel about wool.

Luckily, you don’t have to abuse those sweet sheep to satisfy your yarn cravings! Here are a few vegan yarn options that are eco-friendly to boot:

Many vegan knit and crochet artists use synthetic yarns, and I’m sure you noticed that I left that off of the list above. While synthetic yarns are usually animal free, they’re also usually made from petroleum products, which doesn’t make them an eco-friendly option. Vegan crafting doesn’t always equal green crafting, but with options like the ones above it’s easy to achieve both!

Etsy is also great resource for vegan yarns. Just do a quickie search for “vegan yarn” under supplies and you’ll get tons of results. Remember though: some people have good intentions but don’t fully understand what vegan means. If you’re not sure what a material is, Google it to ensure you’re not accidentally buying an animal product.

Next >> Animal Ingredients to Avoid

[Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by moria]



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://sew-and-so.blogspot.com Becky

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m not vegan, but I am highly sensitive to wool. And since I’ve picked up knitting this year, I’m already finding it challenging to locate nice yarns that my skin can handle.

    Also thought it might be worth mentioning tussah silk on here– I’ve seen some yarns made from that in my search, and since the silkworms are allowed to live out their natural life cycle, it’s a more animal-friendly option if you still really want silk.

  • http://bitteroclock.com bitteroclock

    I’ve been wondering about this since getting a large order for “vegan-friendly hats”. What I’ve wondered is “but isn’t acrylic considered vegan-friendly?” I know that it is made from byproducts of petroleum. However, isn’t there quite a bit of petroleum that goes into the harvesting, refining, and transporting of the “natural” fibers? Especially for some like bamboo or banana silk, which might expend even more petroleum to have it shipped to local stores from abroad?

    If you could shed some light, I would greatly appreciate it. :)

    • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

      That is a really good question! I think there are a lot of factors that go into determining a product’s footprint. Where was it made? Synthetic yarn that’s not shipped a long distance might have a smaller footprint than wool yarn that travels halfway around the world. There’s also the question of the manufacturing process for synthetics and how energy-intensive they are compared to raising animals for natural alternatives.

      Honestly, crunching those numbers might be a bit out of my league, but these are definitely important aspects of any material’s impact!

  • http://www.gaia-noir.co.uk Jane_Faye

    The mulesing technique mentioned is a serious problem for those of us who craft with merino on grounds that it’s biodegradable, renewable and non-petroleum based (and organic too if I can get it from a local small farm) – however, I thought this cruel practice had been banned in several countries, including New Zealand? I’d be interested to know because I do want to offer items as greenly and ethically as possible.

    And I can speak very highly of the other yarns mentioned – I know it’s difficult to find a bamboo yarn that wasn’t produced with serious chemical byproduct, but if you can get hold of one, DO SO, it’s one of the smoothest, loveliest yarns to work with ever! And the organic cotton ones such as Debbie Bliss Eco are gorgeous too, lightweight and beautifully coloured.

  • Christine

    Hi Becky, I’m one of the editors for http://www.AllFreeCrochet.com, I too am sensitive to wool, I really can’t wear it. Any who, I was wondering if you had your own blog or web site with your original crochet patterns posted? We would love to link to them and feature them in our newsletter that goes out to over 350,000 subscribers.
    Let me know if this is something you are interested in.

    Thanks,

    Christine
    Editor, AllFreeCrochet.com

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