Not infrequently we are advised of recalls of pharmaceuticals, meats, eggs, processed foods and even raw vegetables. But yarn?
Many of you probably heard that early this month, Trendsetter announced its recall of Lotus Yarns Mimi. Trendsetter imported Mimi from Lotus Yarns, a company based in the Hebei Province, South of Beijing, in China. Recently Trendsetter tested its Lotus yarns and learned that Mimi, rather than being 100% mink as labeled, was actually a blend of 40% angora, 13% wool, 30% rayon, and 17% nylon. (Contact the yarn store where you purchased the yarn for information about returning it.)
There have been other yarn recalls, some by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
On March 19, 2015 the CPSC announced the recall of Bernat Tizzy yarn. Tizzy, a super bulky weight 100% polyester yarn, was manufactured in China, imported by Spinrite Yarns LP, of Washington, N.C., and sold at Jo-Ann Stores, Michaels, and yarninspirations.com. The Canadian company recalled 840,000 packages of Tizzy saying it can unravel or snag and form loops in finished products, endangering young children. No injuries had been reported, but the company had received two reports of children getting entangled in unraveling or snagging yarn blankets.
Ten years earlier (to the month!), the CPSC announced the recall of “Fur Out,” another Bernat yarn. Again the importer was Spinrite Yarns, and this yarn was manufactured in Turkey. According to the CPSC, “Garments constructed of “Fur Out” yarn are dangerously flammable when exposed to a flame, posing a burn risk to consumers.” Bernat received two reports of garments made of the recalled yarn burning, with one person receiving singed eyebrows; 730,000 packages were recalled.
In 2005, Sidar, a British company, recalled its yarn Fizz because of fire hazard concerns. This is a picture of recalled Fizz I found on Ravelry. According to Ravelry, in December 2005 Sidar released a “New Fizz” – presumably less flammable (I found no Fizz yarns on Sidar’s website.)
There seem to be many concerns from customers about a yarn’s actual content and its labeled content. See this interesting discussion at the Knitter’s Review Forum. In 2006, january one blogged that her local yarn store recalled several yarns because of concerns of fiber content.
For the last several days I have been knitting with a wonderful yarn that comes from Lacey (that’s a picture of her!), raised by Marit Federcell and Patrick Borunda of Las Flores del Altiplano Alpacas. The yarn was also spun and dyed locally. I met Marit at last month’s Black Sheep Festival and have already contacted her for more of Lacey’s yarn. I was going to order a yarn from Ireland and, though I’m sure it’s fine yarn, will use Lacey’s yarn instead.
Reading about yarn recalls – the same day I enjoyed a morning of knitting socks with yarn from Lacey (pic to the left) slipping through my fingers – captures why many fiber artists are committed to purchasing from locally sourced yarn, spinning and dyeing.
I know I am fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. – an area filled with sheep, llama and alpaca farms/ranches. Yet not every fiber artist lives in a place like that, though many take the opportunity to attend fiber-centric events, wool gatherings and the like, where they can buy locally sourced products.
Have you ever had the opportunity to meet the actual animals who give you yarns? (It’s always such a thrill for me!)