The low down for the yarn geeks and detail freaks
The Dolly Family
Dolly (the sheep) is my signature yarn, a 100% merino in a choice of weights and finishes.
Dolly & Dolly SW
100% Merino available as a superwash or non-superwash yarn in different weights and skein sizes.
soft, versatile, our best seller
Certified organic pure merino available in 100g skeins of DK and Aran weights.
produced to the highest welfare standards
Superwash and non-superwash merino plied together which gives a unique tweedy stripe when dyed. Available in 100g skeins of DK weight.
instant tweed, good for menswear
100% merino spun as a single strand, giving great stitch definition. Available in 100g skeins of 4 ply and DK weights.
awesome stitch definition
Merino plays beautifully with other fibres. Bamboo and silk both add lustre, drape and luxurious smoothness against the skin.
Betty is 80% merino and 20% bamboo, available in 100g skeins of 4 ply and DK weights.
heathered colours with great drape
Sleekit is 50% merino, 50% silk, available in 100g skeins of 4 ply and DK.
silk adds strength and shimmer
British Blue Faced Leicester
From sheep reared and sheared in Britain, Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) is a lustrous wool, slightly more hardwearing than merino.
Richard is 100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester, available in 100g skeins of 4 ply weight.
loved by no-nylon sock makers
Ringo is 55% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester and 45% silk, available in 100g skeins of DK weight.
lustrous wool + lustrous silk = yum
Super duper snuggly luxury blends, ideal for those with a wool allergy.
St Cloud is 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere, available in 100g skeins of 4 ply and DK.
light as a cloud of fluffy feathers
Quilla is 50% Baby Alpaca 25% Silk, 25% Linen, available in 100g skeins of 4 ply and DK.
light and warm, but hardwearing too
Sheeps wool is covered in little scales which, given the right level of agitation, can lock together and cause the yarn to felt. Superwash yarn has been pre-treated to remove these scales and make the yarn softer, washable and resistant to felting and shrinking.
The actual process to do this has not always had the best environmental credentials, so I have been very careful to source my superwash yarn from a trusted supplier whose yarn is processed according to best practices. Please see their statement below if you have any concerns.
It is only wool that gets treated in this way, alpaca, cashmere, silk, bamboo, cotton and other non-sheep fibres do not go through a superwash process.
Statement from my wool supplier
Superwash is a treatment applied to wool fibres which makes it more resistant to shrinking. In the 80’s superwash treatment got a bad rap because in some countries the effluent was not recycled. This has however changed dramatically as the EU enforced very strict laws and any by-products must be removed from the water before it is discharged into the water system. This now means that the water discharged actually is better than the drinking water you get from the tap. Not all countries have the same regulations and we only use superwash wool which is from highly regulated treatment plants in the UK and in South America (which also have very strict standards). We are very particular about where our wool is superwash treated.
So what does the process involve? Firstly the wool is treated in chlorine to dull the edges of the scales of the wool, this reduces the ability of the scales to stick to each other and therefore reduces felting. Secondly a super thin coating of resin is applied to the fibres permanently bonding to the wool, this smooths the scales, improving the handle and also prevents felting. This resin biodegrades along with the wool when it goes to landfill.
My own opinion is that there is a place for superwash wool as an alternative to acrylic, nylon and polyester yarns which are completely artificial and contribute microplastics to our waterways and oceans.