When you first start working with yarns, it is impossible to expect you to know everything that is out there, because there is a lot. With the increase application and development of technology in fashion, there are new fibres being created as we speak.
Next to the standard yarns that we know, such as cotton, wool’s and acrylic, other fibres are becoming more known, and though they have been with us in some cases for over 40 years, they (Soya, Hemp, Bamboo, Milk, Corn etc.) are now becoming more popular and mainstream due to designers incorporating them more into their design philosophy.
During my visit to the Natural museum in Lille, France, there was a small exhibition of fibres and yarns. Some fibre types were more established, others are in their infancy stage and others were already existing but now finding new applications.
Many other fibres are more popular in certain regions, due to their traditional connection to that place. Example of these are Camel and the Yak hair. Camel hair has been used for centuries in the steps of Mongolia and Persia, the numbers still reflect this as these 2 countries , followed by China, are the main produces of this fibre.
Yak is a luxury fibre produced mainly in Tibet. Here they have mastered the use of this yarn and make the most luxurious accessories from it in the fashion industry. Though these are available for purchase here, they tend to be at a a much higher cost.
As you will be growing more familiar with your knitting and knitting machine, I invite you to experiment with different yarns. Each has different characteristics which can provide you with different aesthetics.
Start a technical file/ sketchbook where you collect samples of these yarns, you can describe their characteristics and feel, this in turn helps you in your design process.