Our Bases

What defines a "sustainable" plant yarn? It's a complex question with almost as many answers as there are Google results! A number of factors contribute to a fiber's planet-friendliness, including (but not limited to) water usage, chemical & pesticide usage, carbon footprint, and longevity in finished makes.

We strive to keep our yarn base selection as sustainable and versatile as possible. That said, we know each person's priorities are different. You may be most concerned about chemical processing, or looking to reduce water usage -- or perhaps local sourcing and traceable supply chains are your top priority.

We want to empower you choose yarns that best suit your own ethics and projects, so below, we have curated sustainability information about each of our bases.

If you have a question about one of our bases that is not answered here, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form at the bottom and we'll do our best to find an answer for you!

a photo of our yarn bases, left to right: chesapeake, atlantic, potomac, severn, and anacostia.

Pictured from L to R: Chesapeake Organic Cotton, Atlantic Pima Cotton, Potomac Cotton-Linen, Severn Tencel, and Anacostia Sock.

Chesapeake Organic Cotton 

  • Fingering: 437 yds/100g
  • Sport: 164 yds/50g
  • DK: 246 yds/100g
  • Worsted: 164 yds/100g

Price: $25 ($16 for 50g sport skeins)

  • Fiber Content: 100% organic cotton (note: our dye process is not organic.)
  • Origin: Peru
  • Water Use: Cotton is a thirsty crop, although some studies suggest organic cotton may use less water than conventional cotton.
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Organic cotton is grown free from synthetic pesticides, chemicals, or GMO seeds.
  • Characteristics: This is not your craft store cotton! Chesapeake is a well-spun, beautifully soft fiber that is comfortable for all skin types. It is ideal for vegan sweaters, baby items, cotton colorwork, and anything summer. It does not have elasticity (will not hold its shape for items like socks, negative-ease garments, or ribbing). 
  • Further Reading from The Pretty Planeteer

Atlantic Pima Cotton

  1. Light Fingering: 437 yds/100g
  2. DK: 218 yds/100g

Price: $27

  • Fiber Content: 100% conventional pima cotton
  • Origin: Peru
  • Water Use: Cotton is a thirsty crop. It is native to Peru, where the growing conditions are suited to the crop; this reduces environmental pressure. 
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Conventional cotton is grown with standard pesticides. Pima is typically harvested by hand rather than by machine.
  • Carbon Footprint: Pima is an extra-long staple fiber with noticeably more longevity than other cottons. Projects made with pima cotton resist pilling and last for years, which helps reduce contributions to fabric waste.
  • Characteristics: Atlantic is extremely silky to the touch, with a luxury shine that slightly accentuates the depth of color. Compared to Chesapeake cotton, it has more drape, but also less hold because of its silky texture, so it is a better choice for shawls, lacework, hot-weather garments, or anything where a bit of drape and silkiness will make your project stand out.

Potomac Cotton-Linen

  • Fingering: 340 yds/100g
  • DK: 246 yds/100g

Price: $27

  • Fiber Content: 75% Virginia-grown conventional cotton, 25% linen
  • Origin: Virginia, USA & Belgium
  • Water Use: Conventional cotton is typically grown using more water than organic cotton. Linen requires much less water than cotton crops and can be grown on poor soil that is not suitable for grazing or other crops.
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Conventional cotton is grown with standard pesticides, though this yarn is minimally processed at the mill (look for the little dark bits in the fiber to prove it!)
  • Carbon Footprint: We source Potomac from a Virginia-based mill, so it travels just one state over to reach us for dyeing! 
  • Characteristics: Potomac is our favorite cuddly base! The linen content improves its drape compared to 100% cotton, and it also holds its shape better over time, making it a wonderful choice for larger projects that tend to sag. (Note: it does not have "elasticity" or spring-back). Its looser twist makes it extra-soft against the skin, but we also recommend hand-washing because of this to best maintain the quality of the fabric. You may notice it feels a little "crispy" right out of the wash--that's the linen! It will soften right up within minutes of wear. 

Severn Tencel

  • Light Fingering: 437 yds/100g
  • Light DK/Sport: 246 yds/100g

Price: $26

  • Fiber Content: 100% certified tencel
  • Origin: Italy
  • Water Use: Tencel requires less water to produce than cotton fibers.
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Tencel is a regenerated fiber made from wood pulp, a process which does involve chemicals. However, 99% of these chemicals are recovered and recycled in the efficient and eco-friendly circular production process.
  • Carbon Footprint: Tencel may use up to 40% less non-renewable energy to produce than cotton fibers.
  • Characteristics: Severn has dreamy shine and drape! Think silk, but vegan. It is soft and lightweight, perfect for summer tops and shawls. Knitters who have struggled with cotton in past may find Severn more approachable, since it is less drying on the hands. It does not have much hold, so it grows with time and blocking--we wouldn't recommend it for colorwork or similar projects.
  • Further Reading from TreeHugger

 

Anacostia Sock

  • Heavy Fingering: 377 yds/100g

Price: $26

  • Fiber Content: 40% lyocell/tencel, 40% organic cotton, 20% elastic
  • Origin: Taiwan
  • Water Use: Tencel and other lyocells require less water to produce than cotton fibers. Cotton is a thirsty crop, although some studies suggest organic cotton may use less water than conventional cotton.
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Tencel is a regenerated fiber made from wood pulp, a process which does involve chemicals. However, 99% of these chemicals are recovered and recycled in the efficient and eco-friendly circular production process. Organic cotton is grown free from synthetic pesticides, chemicals, or GMO seeds.
  • Carbon Footprint: Tencel may use up to 40% less non-renewable energy to produce than cotton fibers.
  • Characteristics: Sock lovers, this one's for you! Anacostia is our only base recommended for socks, hats, and other negative-ease projects. Its elastic content give is the memory, so projects will retain their shape. Anacostia has a bouncy, almost nubby texture that knits up into itch-free next-to-skin pieces with cotton's trademark softness.

 

Weaving Yarn (limited edition)

  • Laceweight 6/2 NE: 840 yds / 150g

Price: $36

  • Fiber Content: 50% Seacell, 50% ring-spun cotton
  • Origin: Canada
  • Water Use: Seacell and other lyocells require less water to produce than cotton fibers. Cotton is a thirsty crop.
  • Chemical & Pesticide Use: Seacell is a seaweed-based rayon fiber made in a similar fashion to Tencel, using an efficient and eco-friendly circular production process that recycles 99% of its chemicals.
  • Characteristics: We are offering this lovely, soft laceweight weaving yarn for a limited time only! Its 2-ply twist gives the strands a textured feel, and the Seacell content contributes a tan undertone and beautiful, shiny drape. The resulting fabric is a sleeker version of our Severn Tencel fibers, and it has been spun specifically for weaving projects (though crocheters and knitters looking for a laceweight option will also enjoy!)