The Great Aussie Yarn
The true story of the Australian yarn industry is that it is alive and prospering. It's not extinct. It's not on the decline.
Thanks to small scale producers and processors, there has been a definite resurgence over the past ten years. Local production is becoming increasingly important to discerning buyers and as this small industry expands it's so wonderful to see provenance being so celebrated.
So where can you get your hands on some of this local stuff?
This data base is a work in progress.
As transparency is a key to the industry I've included details on where the yarn has been processed where possible (to come)
Some of these yarns have been spun in New Zealand. As access to a large-scale commercial-size worsted spinning mill is limited to those companies running such mills, consignment spinning is not currently something on their agenda. I have not included Australian yarn that has been scoured or spun in China. The movement in some parts of the larger scale side of the industry towards this is certainly not in our best interests, environmentally and or community-wise.
LOCAL YARN PRODUCERS
The Alpaca Shoppe
The Alpaca Yarn Lady
Australian Organic Wool
Bennett and Gregor
Black Wattle Yarn
Boston Fine Fibres
Cloverleaf Corriedale Stud
Eden Valley Biodynamic Wool
Full Circle Fibres
Australian grown, ginned and spun cotton
Goldfields Mohair Farm
Granite Haven Gotlands
Great Ocean Road Woollen Mill
Inverleigh Fiber Supplies
The Jolly Jumbuck
Lucy Land Wool
Mulberry and Flax - (Great Southern Yarn)
North East Yarns
Nundle Woollen Mill
One Tree Hill Alpacas
Pitching Ridge Alpacas
White Gum Wool
Wool 2 Yarn
Why aren't Bendigo Woollen Mills and Cleckheaton on your list? Surely they're Australian yarn.
While Bendigo Woollen Mills and Cleckheaton are Australian yarn companies, they do not choose to support the Australian industry or community when it comes to their processing practises. Both companies scour and process in China where granted it is cheaper but there are also great concerns surrounding the pay-scale, working conditions in these plants and environmental consequences of effluent.
Cleckheaton, who are owned by the Australian Country Spinners, ironically while owning a spinning mill in Wangaratta, have moved all their spinning offshore. The only made in Australia component to their yarn is the dyeing, balling and labelling. Some of their yarn does come from Australian-grown wool and these yarns are generally labelled clearly as such.
Bendigo Woollen Mills do source most of the wool used in their yarns from Australia and do spin and complete most of the processing in Australia. It is unfortunate that they send their fibres overseas to be scoured, when there are scouring facilities within Australia.
Please note: Australian Country Spinners have recently been acquired by Bendigo Woollen Mills who are using the Wangaratta Woollen Mills for commission spinning. At this stage, I am not sure if the yarns in the ACS line will continue to be so extensively processed overseas.
Hand-dyers who dye exclusively on Australian Yarns
Nunnaba Artisan Yarns
Pirate Purl Yarns
Gum Blossom Yarns