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!
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.
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
Blue Sky Fibers Organic Cotton Skinny, Sport
Habu Textiles shosenshi linen paper, fingering/novelty
Araucania Alumco Hand Painted, Worsted
50% Viscose, 50% Cotton
Araucania Caña Ruca Hand Painted, DK
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.
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
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?