Yarn Recalls

Not infrequently we are advised of recalls of pharmaceuticals, meats, eggs, processed foods and even raw vegetables.  But yarn?

(c) lotusyarns

(c) lotusyarns

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 BernatTizzyYarnyarn, 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.

BernatFurOut (2)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.

SidarFizzIn 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.

LaceyFor 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!)

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Fibers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Yarn Recalls

  1. Reblogged this on Fiber With A Cause and commented:
    Great information! Thanks.

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  2. I did not know that about Rowan; thanks for sharing. Good thing knitters have no problem pushing back at yarn companies! Nowadays I find myself checking labels carefully for manufacturing info. Thankfully I have quite a large stash to work my way through for larger projects while I use excellent local yarns for the smaller projects I have in my queue. >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leonor says:

    Rowan, a British company, stopped producing one of its famous angora yarns because people started questioning where the fibre was coming from, and how it was sourced (answer: China, and with cruelty). Although there was no recall, it’s nice to know public pressure can make a company think twice about cutting corners on animal welfare!

    I’ve yet to meet the sheep that make some of my yarn, but I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few from fleeces I’ve bought! And I have some alpaca fibre that came from a fellow guild member, the animal is named Snowy and is cute as only alpacas can be!

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  4. Cathy says:

    Sounds like so much fun ! Now I’m browsing for similar farms in France, would be a lovely yarn trip to make !

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  5. I prefer local sources too. I plan on visiting the alpacas whose yarn I used to knit several pairs of socks. What fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    Thanks for letting us know about yarn recalls ! I tend to stick to local european yarn, but you never know… I would love to meet the animals I knit from !

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  7. Sadly, I am sure we’ll see more yarn recalls as more and more production is outsourced. 😦

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  8. cpeezers says:

    What an interesting post. I’d never even considered that yarn would be recalled! Thanks for writing this!

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  9. Grey Dove says:

    Reblogged this on From Goats To Soaps and commented:
    While reading the enjoyable blog that Karen one of our readers writes, (The Sweaty Knitter) I came across a very interesting post about the fibre content in yarns. Unless we have a substantial stash and have lost labels over the years, or are routinely given yarns of unknown origin, I believe most of us are in the habit of simply trusting what is written on the yarn’s label. As the article below shows, this apparently isn’t as safe a practice as one would expect.

    I noticed from the comments on this post’s original page that one result of learning the information in the article was a desire to check on the fibre content of yarn. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to give it the burn test. If you aren’t familiar with this process, or would like details on how to interpret the test’s results, you may want to visit this reference page. (http://www.fiber-images.com/Free_Things/Reference_Charts/free_reference_charts_fiber_content_guide.html) There you will find an excellent and detailed explanation of what the burn test is, how to do it, and a simple to follow chart that will help you to interpret your results.

    In closing I’d like to add one last thought. I agree with Karen about shopping locally whenever possible, but not all of us are lucky enough to be able to meet our fleece bearers in the field. However, the internet does offer a wonderful bridge. It can allow you to have the intimacy and personal attention that you only receive from a small business owner. When you shop online with a family run business you can get to know and interact with the sites’ owners as easily and often as you might with any local shop owner. It may not be as much fun as frolicking with your yarns’ source in the pasture, but you can read about them, see pictures of them and ask the owners for details about the animals your yarn was spun from. Farm boutiques like Les Belles Bouclettes are both a long distance alternative, and your own personal link to the yarn’s producers. You still get to support a small business and know for SURE where your yarn came from, and what (and who) it is made with!

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  10. I hadn’t either; it was good to learn/know. Spinners must visit your neighborhood!

    >

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  11. Sandy says:

    Never heard of a yarn recall before; thanks for the information. The alpaca is adorable. We have several herds in our neighborhood.

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  12. Yes, she’s so cute. I haven’t met her – YET! 🙂

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  13. Fabrickated says:

    So interesting. And what a lovely alpaca!

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  14. Me too. I think Thor is a bit worried one day I will come home with a sheep, goat or alpaca in tow. 🙂

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  15. I face the same quandary: how to buy local and sustainable. Sometimes it is not so difficult – e.g. I live near lots of non-agribusiness farms and orchards. Other times it is frustrating trying to find something that used to be made in the one’s home country is now outsourced to another country on another continent.

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  16. I also have some yarn from Zinnia – also destined to be made into a pair of socks!

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  17. Hi- feelgoodknitting We have small on-line store… http://www.altiplano-alpacas.com where we sell yarn. Not up to date now… we’re in birthing season… but there you will be able to find match pictures of the alpacas to their yarn.

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  18. I would love to be able to know the specific animals my yarn came from! There used to be an alpaca farm in the next town over that produced small amounts of yarn for individual purchase, but like most small alpaca farms (at least in this part of the country!) it has since gone out of business.

    Like

  19. andalexand says:

    I found this post to be incredibly interesting. We (or at least, I) tend to think a lot about where our food comes from, but we don’t necessarily think about where our yarn comes from, or how it might differ from our assumptions about it. I would be interested to learn more about commercially produced yarns in natural fibers and what their production process is like. I would love to switch completely to local and handmade, but don’t know how economically feasible that is currently.

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  20. Yes, there are llama ranches. LLamas are primarily used as pack animals, although some have wonderful fiber and those are used for yarn. They are also used as guardians for other livestock. Llamas are quite large, can weigh in at 500# and they scare the poop out of coyotes. Actually, the scare the poop out of me too… I don’t like looking up at an animal.

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  21. Yes, well, she is one of our first alpacas… and much loved. Doesn’t she have a sweet face? And she really is sweet. Unflappable. She’s retired now. Her job is to buddy up with girls when they have to go on long rides. Recently, we had a girl in hospital for two weeks. Lacey was the companion. She wasn’t happy about that. LOL!

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  22. Rebecca says:

    Well! This post is just speaking to my heart. You enjoy your Lacey, a fibre content and production process that can actually be understood and followed by ordinary folks.

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  23. caityrosey says:

    Or just instructions. I found something online, but it was more meant for testing fabric. Still, it’s a place to start.

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  24. Are there llama ranches too? Yes, Lacey looks pretty pampered. 🙂

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  25. Please give her an admiring pet from me!

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  26. Maybe we should come up with a kit for home testing of yarn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Neither did I … I was a bit surprised – though also pleased that some yarns were voluntarily recalled by their importers.

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  28. You are more than welcome. It really caught my attention! I think the only Trendsetter yarn I’ve used is Dune, and that was LONG ago.

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  29. Allison says:

    Yikes! Yet another reason I love wool. Here in Kansas there seem to be more alpacas than sheep (which is unexpected), but I have yet to see a picture of one that looks as happy as Lacey!

    Like

  30. Not everyone can be a spinning whiz! 🙂

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  31. How great! He must cherish it!

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  32. caityrosey says:

    It scares me a little bit to think that I can’t depend on my yarn labels to tell me what I’m buying. For the most part, I trust most of the manufacturers I buy from. But the uncertainty is unsettling. It would be interesting to do an independent experiment with yarn purchased from various sources. Do some sort of simple experiment, like a burn test, to see how many yarns are labeled accurately. This won’t distinguish between types of wool, but it will distinguish between different fibers.

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  33. Interesting, I didn’t realize how often yarns are recalled!

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  34. belinda says:

    As an avid knitter, information like this is always valuable! Thank you for sharing! I’ll be passing it on to my knitting friends!

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  35. ethgran says:

    Funny how people are so different. I ordered some alpaca named Lisa from the NW and was enthralled with her scent. I could detect it over the smell of the soap used to clean the yarn and wanted to rub it all over my body.

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  36. Susan says:

    That certainly did catch my attention! How odd…..100% MINK, that should have given anyone cause for pause 🙂 Good for you LOCAL IS BEST!! I will definitely pass this on, thanks.
    I have bought very little yarn in my time, like playing with ‘dirty’ fleece I guess 🙂

    Like

  37. djdfr says:

    I knitted a vest for my husband with wool from a rare breed sheep raised by a friend of mine. In this case, she had the wool spun industrially. It was not dyed.

    https://djdblogginghere.wordpress.com/2007/02/24/keeping-husband-warm/
    and
    https://djdblogginghere.wordpress.com/2007/02/04/coverlet-square/

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  38. Reblogged this on Clan & Pad and commented:
    Who knew?

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  39. So pleased that Lacey is doing her job… making beautiful fiber to be made into beautiful yarn. She’s 14… an “older lady” and still going strong.

    We so appreciate you and love hearing about your sock progress!!!

    M

    Liked by 1 person

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