Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bananiere Yarn

Finding yarns for BCB isn't easy.
My commitment to using
only recycled or organic materials really limits what I'm willing to buy. One of my favorite finds is what I call Bananiere (the French word for 'Banana'). It is made from 100% Banana fibers, which is stripped from the leaves and barks of banana tress. It's a very renewable and under-utilised material. Besides that, this yarn is actually made from the leftover fibers from the weaving industry, so it's really recycled!

What made this yarn so irresistable is that my supplier gave me such great information. Below is what she shared with me:

Environmentally Friendly:

Bananiere is made from the remnants of the clothing industry. The fibers would have been thrown out if not for the ingenuity of the women who spin this yarn. They are using what they can to make a new, gorgeous product. This yarn is also completely biodegradable.

Fair Trade:

Banana fibers from India's weaving mills are handspun by women's cooperatives and cottage industries to produce this yarn. Many of these women are refugees or have been abandoned or widowed with families to support. Using their traditional skills they are able to create vibrant, textured yarn in a endless array of colorways. Each skein is handspun creating natural inconsistencies and a rather scrappy nature; to make any project, no matter how simple in design, instantly charming and unique. One thing that sets this yarn apart from most others is the connection to women on the other side of the globe, living in a Lots of time and care goes into each skein. The fibers are first sorted, then hand teased, and finally handspun on a charka or drop spindle. Once the yarn is spun it is turned in for payment. Another group of women prepare the skeins for sale. We only purchase yarn from cooperatives who provide good wages to the people who spin and skein the yarns, and we put a portion of our profits into helping purchase equipment or providing funds for educational programs.

How could I resist?