Yearn-Worthy Yarns: Manos Del Uruguay

Manos Del UruguayNow one the premier producer of yarn and garments in South America, Manos Del Uruguay (“hands of Uruguay” in Spanish) began in 1968 when a small group of local women were looking for a way to “promote social and economic development of women in our rural areas.”

Since then, that same group of women has developed in 17 cooperatives and a non-profit organization. Thanks to its dedicated and passion for making a true difference for local communities, Manos has become the second most beloved business by Uruguay locals, right behind the country’s only national dairy cooperative.

All Manos’ yarn is grown, spun and dyed right in these cooperatives. The company is also well-known for its knitted garments, which are made from start to finish of these yarns in the same cooperatives. You can buy these breathtaking garments in stores all over the world (you know, if you don’t feel like knitting or crochet – HA). Manos also manufactures private label garments for brands like J Crew, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen, Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, and the Peruvian Connection.

Though their goods are not certified organic, the immense amount of local production is cause alone to want to buy Manos Del Uruguay’s fibers – it also doesn’t hurt that their yarns will stop you in your tracks when you see them in-person. I bought three hanks of their Cotton Stria yarn in Saffron at my favorite local yarn shop (shout out to San Francisco’s ImagiKnit – you rock!) and … well … I can’t stop staring at it. The color is so vivid that it entrances my eyes and is more than pleasing to my fingers as I knit with it. In addition to their smooth Cotton Stria, Manos offers both solid and multi-colored hand spun wool and silk yarns. The collection of colors that I have found for their silk blends is much smaller than the colossal options available in wool (Purl Soho has 72 solid different shades!).

[Image courtesy of Purl Soho; Handspun Multi Colors in 100% wool (merino & corriedale blend) in “Bramble”]

Who makes your favorite sustainable yarns?

Which natural fiber is your favorite to work with? (i.e. cotton, wool, bamboo, hemp … etc.)

Let us know what you love to create with and we might feature them in the next installment of Yearn-Worthy Yarns!

Written by Victoria Everman

I think of myself as a creatively versatile eco-powerhouse. Freelance writer, life-long model, on-camera personality, public speaker, official U.S. spokesperson for Twice Shy Clothing - I'm a classic Renaissance woman and mistress-of-all-trades.

Though my days of growing up in the corn fields of central Indiana are behind me, forgetting where I came from is not an option. I lost my father unexpectedly in March of 2006, months before moving from NYC to San Francisco, which helped to amplify my zest for life and thirst to help change the world.

Perpetually looking for fresh ways to share my unquenchable green knowledge, I blog about everything eco on my own website, as well as for All Green Magazine and select others. Additionally, I am the editor/head writer of Crafting a Green World (part of the Green Options blog network) and a writer/web editor for Building Green TV. My diverse articles have been published in variety of reputable magazines, such as: Yoga Journal, Venus, CRAFT, Yogi Times, Recovery Solutions, M+F, and Office Solutions.

In my spare time, you can find me knitting, reading, singing, taking pictures, practicing yoga, taking long walks, and working on my first non-fiction book. Other random facts about me: I'm a Buddhist, latex fan, have four tattoos, and an attempting locavore.



Leave a Reply
  1. Hello Victoria,

    This sounds like a really interesting company. As a yarn dealer, my only question would be are the sheep raised according to any humane standards. But I am definitely going to check this out. Thanks for the information. Your page has a ton of useful stuff.

    Best wishes,

  2. Hello Victoria,
    I’m an artist who discovered fiber a couple of years ago – have been knitting/felting (handbags and tapestries) with Manos and love it. I’m planning a trip to Uruguay with a collector who is fluent in Spanish. We plan to take photos of the women at work in the cooperatives – for my future podcast and/or website. I believe the main office is in Montevideo but have had trouble locating a contact person. Do you know of someone who could help me in purchasing large quantities of yarn direct and possibly even coordinating a tour of the cooperatives?
    Thanks for your time,
    Marcia Barrow Taylor

  3. Dear Victoria,

    Yes, if you have a contact in Uruguay I’d love to know who it is. And Marcia Barrow Taylor, I am hoping to travel to Uruguay to do a documentary/publicity piece for Manos…Feel free to contact me:

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Feb 1st: Bleeding Hearts One-Day Benefit Sale

Have a Green Valentine’s Day!