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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Malabrigo Yarn Background...

Nancy P. found the following post on a Malabrigo junkies group. We wanted to share this with you.

"The farms that produce Malabrigo wool allow their sheep to go free-range through the hills of Uruguay, where they are allowed to eat whatever grass or plants they find, and are herded by actual old-style shepards. They are not certified organic sheep because they are injected with vaccinations and antibiotics (to keep them from spreading or contracting disease from other livestock that use their trails, like cows), and because the grass they eat in some areas may have been fertilized, which is another organic no-no. They are, however, treated well, and are not pent up in small barns or pens, except during shearing season, when they have to be rounded up and branded.

After the wool is collected, it goes on to an EcoTex certified spinning mill, where they turn it into the different bases. All the wool is merino except Gruesa (and maybe Aquarella), which is corriedale. The wool is processed with as little water waste as possible, and as few chemicals as possible. Whatever water and waste is not able to be re-used for the process is sent to a special detoxification plant, where they clean and treat it and put it back into regular use. So the process by which the yarn is spun is very low-pollution or no pollution at all, in many places.

The wool is then brought to the Malabrigo mill, where they dye it, and then send the dye waste to a detoxification treatment center, as well.

Just thought you might want to know a little bit about what goes into producing your yarn, and feel a little better about the entire process! I have been working here for several days, too, and wanted to let you know that the working conditions here are wonderful. We have very large windows and large, open spaces in which to work, and we are allowed to take breaks whenever we want (this applies to any workers at the factory, not just me, don´t worry). We eat lunch in a small cafeteria family style, it is a lot of fun, and the building is undergoing renovations to make it safer and better, too. The processes by which the yarn is dyed and prepared are very safe, too, as safe as possible for the company, and there have been no injuries since my arrival.

I know these are things that I worry about, as a knitter, and thought you might be interested!

The Institute of Marketology (IMO) has certified our wool provider meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) -- this means that the process to make the wool is organic, according to world organic standards.

Also, none of our sheep farmers (or any sheep farmers in Uruguay) practice mulesing, which is a common practice for Australian merino wools, since the sheep are susceptible to fly strike with the extra folds they have been bred for. Here in Uruguay, we don’t need to practice mulesing -- so if you were worried at all, our favorite wool is mulesing free, and has been certified as such by the Uruguayan Secretary of Wool (Uruguayo de la Lana), since 2008."


  1. Anonymous5:30 AM

    I have read this on ravelry but just wanted to say just 1 more reason to LOVE malabrigo!

  2. Great post - learning about the origin of malabrigo yarns and the sheep definitely make the entire process a little more interesting. Always great to know where the materials we all use are coming from!