A List of Vegan Yarns for Knitting and Crochet

Sourcing vegan yarn has become simpler in recent years with animal fibre allergies and ethical approaches to animal welfare. But when I looked for a master list, I could not find one. I am certain one exists, but perhaps its SEO is lacking. In any case, I search on Ravelry for fibre content and am listing some readily-available non-acrylic vegan yarns for knitting and crochet. If you know of others, add them in the comments!

 

non acrylic vegan yarns for knitting and crochet

A List of Vegan Yarns

Vegan-friendly yarn is a yarn that is made from non-animal fibre sources. This means absolutely no wool, silk, alpaca, mohair, angora, and so on. But some vegans are mindful of the environment too, so this list will focus on vegan-friendly yarns because these specifically have a lower environmental impact. What you’ll find here is a list focused on plant-based yarn materials, such as bamboo, cotton, hemp, linen, corn, soy, banana fibre silk, tencel, viscose, and aloo/nettle. Ideally, you want to source organic cotton which is more sustainable and minimize acrylic yarn elements.

Flora Fibres

La Droguerie Bossa Nova, Worsted
50% Cellulose – Bamboo (Bast), 50% Cellulose – Linen / Flax

La Droguerie Bambou, DK
100% Cellulose – Bamboo (Bast)

La Droguerie Kaléido
92% Cellulose – Bamboo (Bast), 8% Cellulose – Linen / Flax

La Droguerie Lin
100% Cellulose – Linen / Flax

Blue Sky Fibers Organic Cotton, Worsted
100% Cotton

Blue Sky Fibers Organic Cotton Skinny, Sport
100% Cotton

Habu Textiles shosenshi linen paper, fingering/novelty
100% linen

Araucania Alumco Hand Painted, Worsted
50% Viscose, 50% Cotton

Araucania Caña Ruca Hand Painted, DK
100% Viscose

This is a small list that I will add to as I encounter more options, but you can also look at Etsy for vegan yarn options. Like this handspun undyed banana silk!

Bamboo-Linen Knitting Yarn from La Droguerie in Paris France

 

Link Love: Related Articles on Vegan Knitting Options

I will also link to a few select articles that were carefully researched and written by others on this topic to further your knowledge of the subject. The first two articles are especially informative and well-researched.

Vegan Knitting by PETA

Is Your Yarn Sustainable? Eco-friendly Crafting with Josephine Yarns by Conscious Shop Collective

Eco Friendly Yarn by Kathreen Ricketson

How to Make Your Knitting Eco-Friendly by GreenGranny.org

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Not Everyone Will Choose to be Vegan, but We Can All Be Ethical

Vegan is not an easy lifestyle, but even if it’s not for you (I’m not vegan myself), you can adopt elements of it. And every bit makes a difference! Ethically-sourced fibres make a huge impact and guide the future of yarn sources. You can choose wisely in small ways, even if you are not exclusively vegan. What does that mean? It means:

  • NO MULESING. If you’re against declawing cats or ear cropping or tail docking in dogs, you are against mulesing too even if you don’t know it.
  • Avoiding synthetic yarns that are petroleum-based which is not biodegradable and causes damage to our environment.
  • Choose organic or small-scale wool farms. Choose wool from farms that do not dip their flock into pesticides.

In 2015, I coauthored a book with Sara Breitenfeldt about focusing on local, ethically-reared sheep for sourcing wool. With a focus on Ireland’s own Zwartbles and now-defunct Smudge Wools, we showed readers that wool can be done while still treating the sheep with love and appreciation. You may have read about the book in Irish Country Living (May 2015) or on GoodReads or on my 40 Shades of Life blog. The book, These Islands: Knits from Ireland, Scotland, and Britain, is available from:

Zwartbles Ireland €12.50

Amazon.com $11

BarnesAndNoble $11

Amazon.co.uk £5.36

BookDepository €6.82

Casting on my first real knitting project of the year with this 100% Irish wool. I've got such a yarn crush on Zwartbles!

And though silk is not vegan, Tussah silk is harvested from the wild after the silk moth has emerged. No animal exploitation or harm.

So, the discussion of vegan yarn is far from simple. The complexity only lends itself to a worthwhile overall discussion of animal welfare and not take advantage of creatures who cannot speak up for themselves. But there is also a balance since many fibres are plant-based or sourced as a byproduct of the animal existing happily. Like Zwartbles since the sheep must be sheared anyway.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have a favorite vegan fibre?

3 comments

  1. Sarah Dawn says:

    Thank you so much for this! It’s a challenge to find ethically sourced fiber. And even if it is plant based, that’s no guarantee that the workers were paid an ethical wage, either 🙁 It’s honestly really challenging!

    Anyway, I was wondering what you thought of the environmental impact of the bamboo processing process? Some of the creators of bamboo and other things like Tencel use a closed-loop system, but others do not, and the waste products are just released into ecosystem.

    Any thoughts on filtering out ones to look for and ones to avoid?

    P.S. I -love- Blue Sky Fibers Organic Cotton. It’s amazing. I can’t say enough good things about this yarn, and was thrilled to see it on your list!

    • Evin says:

      That is a great consideration, Sarah. I debated where to draw the line so many times writing this post. The chemical processing of bamboo is problematic for the environment with not all bamboo sources and processes being properly documented to trace the environmental impact. Or so I learned in researching this. This article was interesting. I wish I knew more. Thanks for reading!

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