How we make the yarn
The journey to create our yarns starts with finding the sheep. Committed to promote the Romanian wool, we use only wool that comes from Romanian sheep breeds. In Romania, sheep do not have their tails clipped and no mulesing is practiced on them (mulesing is the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the buttocks of a sheep. Mulesing is mostly practiced in warm climates with the argument behind that it prevents flystrike. I personally think it is just a barbarian practice).
For our yarn we use wool from two breeds. For the Elena yarn we use wool from the Tigaie sheep (also found under the name of Tsigaie or Tigae). In fact, the shepherds that supply us the wool do not have purebred sheep, but mixes of Tigaie with local Merino and / or Turcana. The wool is semi-fine, and it comes in shades from off-white to all kind of shades of grey, brown, to black. For the Romanian Merino yarn, we use wool from local Merino breeds, either Transilvanian Merino or Palas Merino. For the Heritage yarn we use a mix of Tigaie and Merino wool.
The sheep enjoy a live outside, on natural pastures. But this has a downside (for us) - more vegetable matter tangled in the wool! We first sort the fleeces and keep only the best wool. Then, we pick out the vegetable matter as good as we can, by hand. We sort the Tigaie wool by colours – this is how we create the grey and brown shades of Elena yarn.
Next operation is scouring the wool. For this we use warm water and mild eco-friendly detergents. It is a laborious process and we invest a lot of time and energy into it. Our aim is to remove the dirt and around 70% of the lanolin on the wool (this is important for the spinning phase – the traditional spinning machines are capable of processing wool that still has residual lanolin on it).
Finally, after all the work, we have beautiful wool that is ready to be sent to the fiber mill! When we were children there were many small-scale fiber mills. But after the 1989 revolution the rural wool industry collapsed and these traditional fiber mills closed, one after the other. We found some that still survived. The machines in these fiber mills are hundred years old, still working and in good shape! But make no mistake - these are not modern machines that can be operated with a push of a button! They are in the family of the spinners for generations and the craft of spinning yarn was transmitted from parents to children and grandchildren. Despite the difficulties raised by working with these traditional fiber mills, we were determined to carry on with our initial plan. Visiting these fiber mills and watching their process was like a trip back in time!
After we receive the yarn from the fiber mill we wash it again with eco-friendly detergents, sodium bicarbonate and we rinse it in water with vinegar. We do this because during the spinning process, dust and impurities stick to the yarn because of the lanolin that is still on the wool.
Our yarn is a minimally processed rustic yarn. You will find some vegetable matter that our gentile treatment could not remove and do not forget about the lanolin on it! Because of that lanolin, when you will use the yarn, your hands will feel the difference! And after washing, you will be amazed by how the yarn will transform – it will bloom and it will soften!
We thank you for choosing our yarn for your projects! Please keep in touch - we love to see the projects that are made in our yarns!