On our last blog post (Sustainable Fashion), we discussed how Yala stands for quality and sustainability. Since then, we’ve been getting a lot of queries on our products. So on this blog; we’ve decided to walk you through the entire process of making the wool that we use for our products.
Let’s start- from the very beginning, i.e. New Zealand.
Why New Zealand?
Our Raw Wool is imported from New Zealand. This country is very well-known for producing high-quality wool. Wool of New Zealand is owned by the hard-working farmers who commit to growing the best wool in the world without causing any harm to the environment.
The farming methods, as well as the extracting procedures, are sustainable, as well as constantly improving.
That’s why the wool from here is so popular, and that’s why we love it so much. They meet all the standards in quality, sustainability, and provenance.
What do we import from New Zealand?
There’s a common misconception that we get ready-to-knit wool. However, what we import is the raw wool which is then worked upon with many intricacies.
Not all wool is the same. The most common parameter of differentiating wool is generally the thickness- which means, the diameter of the wool. Since the wool we use for handicraft needs to be of a higher thickness, it’s not readily available in the local market. On top of that, we cannot compromise on the strength and quality of the wool as well. Hence, a custom order is made- which cannot be less than 200 kilograms which is about 440 pounds.
After processing the order, we get beautiful wool in our hands- however, all white!
The fun part- colors!
We love bright popping colors, and that’s where we take the wool to next: for dyeing.
We chose bright, lovely colors for dyeing. A minimum of 15 kg(approx 33 lbs) of wool should be dyed of each color. The standards are usually fifteen, thirty, and fifty KGs. However, the place that we get our dye from- we’ve been working with them for years. They align with our values and beliefs perfectly too. Due to this relationship that we share, they make a special exception for us and we could choose to dye a minimum of 10kg of each color as well.
They take the raw wool, and it generally takes about 5-10 days for the color to come out well. There is a little catch here. If we give 15 KGs of wool, we only get 13 KGs in return.
Where does the remaining wool go?
Does this mean that some wool gets lost in the process of dying?
No. Well, technically not.
When we give wool for dyeing, we give raw wool. The raw wool still has a lot of moisture there. More the moisture, heavier the wool. Once the wool is dyed, it’s dried in the sun, so it loses the moisture. Therefore, the wool that we get back is lighter.
The amount of weight loss depends on a lot of other factors. One of the primary factors is the weather. If the weatheris too sunny; the weight loss is more since more moisture is lost. If it’s slightly more humid, there isn’t much change in the weight.
This factor, however, doesn’t affect the quality of the wool. Only the cost- which remains the same whether the weight is lost or not.
What we get in our hands is beautiful, high-quality wool which has flown hundreds of miles, and gone through different stages. And yet, this is only the beginning.
The wool is color-coded and flown to the mystical lands of Himalayas. The excited artisans use their years of skill and a surprising level of dedication on the wool to create products which are nothing less than magical - just for you!