Where do you source your yarns?

 There seem to be so many sources of yarn for the US weavers, so in line with the reason for this group, I'd like to ask how other UK people go about sourcing yarns. Do you have a FLWS (friendly local weaving store)? Do you ebay? Do you raid knitting shops? Do you mail order from places like the Handweaver's studio?



Posted on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 12:12

I must admit I have been sneaking in to this UK group, although I am from Denmark ;-) but my problem is similar to yours. It seems a little too much sending for yarn all the way from the US. We do have a few yarn suppliers in Denmark, but I am always on the lookout for other sources. One that I learned of recently on Weavolution is www.colourmart.com. It is in the UK and my first experience in ordering from them was first-class.

Any other good ideas would be very welcome.

Posted on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 12:45

I'm in Australia and we have the same problem here with getting yarn - we have a couple of stores that stock Swedish weaving cottons and linens, but of course that becomes expensive because of the import costs. I've been lucky and "inherited" another weavers stash of fine cotton, the last remnants of our own local weaving industry, and my local Guild stocks some yarns, otherwise its a case of grabbing it when you see it anywhere. I've lucked onto some weaving silk on the internet, it meant sitting up half the night for the auction <grin> but was worth it! I might just go back for seconds at that price!

I'm about to start spinning my own yarns, and re-spinning commercial yarns where necessary to get around this problem, else I will be buying in from the States, and swallowing the horrific postage costs.

Posted on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 18:53

Hi Caroline,

If you send for yarn from the US, maybe it would not cost more from Europe? I'm not really familiar with the shippimg costs. But thought I'd mention my best supplier here in Denmark, they often have fairly moderate prices/bargain offers.The address is www.garn.dk 

I wish I could envisage myself spinning my own yarn, or even respinning. Do you do that with all types of fiber?

Posted on Fri, 09/25/2009 - 18:33

I do love handweavers, but it's also nice to know about other sources here in the UK. Most of my sources are in the US, so having more sources in the UK would be great.

Posted on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 21:55

I generally spin my own. I get my wool & silk from P&M Woolcraft, and my flax from Handweavers (which has now moved to a lovely new shop in finsbury park).

That being said I'm always happy to "augment" my collection with whatever catches my eye (grin).

There are two other yarn shops in London (aside from Handweavers) which are rather neat one is in Carnaby Street (all the fun of the fayre) the other in Waterloo (name escapes me at the moment). There are two others that I know of but I've not yet checked them out - though I hear that one - over by the Angel tube station is great. I know handweaver's will gladly do mail/email orders. Not sure about the others.

There's a fantastic shop in Paris called La droguerie (http://www.ladroguerie.com/) it has to be seen to be believed. I think they will do mailorders (I've not investigated the web site enough to be sure) but if you ever have the chance - its well worth having a go - their selection (in shop) is amazing.

Posted on Thu, 10/08/2009 - 11:21

I use Texere and have also begun building a file of UK farms (both alpaca and wool) who have their wool spun and offer it on cones (since I hope to eventually have a retail outlet offering only UK yarns). One is Frangipangi. I'll pull out the samples box and tell you all some of the others in another post. Handweavers seems a bit expensive to me.

I'd like to thank those of your from elsewhere in Europe for telling us about sources elsewhere in the EU but not in the EU, since for those of us in the EU buying inside the EU but not in our own land still avoids the whole issue of customs fees and delays.

I happen to know that Poland has both silk and linen industries, though I wouldn't be surprised to find a UK linen source as well, and I know there are remnants of a silk industry in Sudbury, though I don't know yet where they source their yarns. Wouldn't it be great if we could source those Polish yarns, though? And just think, when and if Turkey joins the EU, we'll have excellent EU cotton. Whee!

My holy grail though, a yarn I know exists and would love to get my hot little hands on cones of is HARRIS TWEED! Please, anyone who knows how to manage this, please write me.

Donna Carty

Posted on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 16:14

Oh Donna, I'm sorry but I'm having a little gloat...  I found a load of cones of yarn at a boot fair in Truro in Cornwall some years ago, and gleefully carried them home.  They're made by Hunters of Brora and are beautiful tweedy 100% wool and they're the crown of my stash.  But Hunters of Brora the spinners no longer exist, they make and sell cashmere woollen garments now, so once these yarns are gone, they're gone, as a certain well-known supermarket would say.  Right, I've stopped gloating now, and I'm in the same boat as you, as I'd love to get my hands on some glorious Harris Tweed, too.

I've made a sampler, a cape and a poncho-type thing out of my Brora yarns, and it's so exciting to do the finishing of the fabric at home, and to see the difference between the loom-state fabric and the fulled cloth.  pics below.  The green cape is a Hobbit's Fellowship Cape, so it's little.  The Serape is 2 rectangles joined short sides to long sides, and makes a poncho shape. Sounds awful but looks fine: even better if I'd used a tailor instead of sewing it myself. But I still get compliments every time I wear it.



OK, OK, I'm off-topic, I'm going, Byee!



Posted on Tue, 04/13/2010 - 19:51

www,jcrennies.com  (Rennies) do lots of tweedy colours.  I've bought big 1(ish) kilo cones from them for about £10 plus £2 small order handling and a few pounds for delivery.  They are very helpful on the phone.  Order shade cards - they come very quickly - range of colours are lovely and natural looking.

Halls (william hall and co) cheadle ph  0161437 3295 - great range of cottons and linens and swedish wools - not cheap due to import costs but very quick and efficient. 

GTM - got lots of irish linen and linen/cotton from a shut-down mill.  - 0161 304 9700 - again - a really big range of natural colours.  unrepeatable though.= but cheap and very helpful

House of Hemp for hemp - in small quantities cos it isn't cheap.

happy shopping and thanks for the other links

Weaverjane in sheffield



Posted on Tue, 06/08/2010 - 15:18

Me too......

I have started spinning now and experimenting with various raw fibres. Hopefully that side of my practice will expand.

I also use Texere and find they have a wide range of yarns for the times I don't spin myself.