Friday, January 15, 2010
Organic Cotton Yarn
Recently at two different yarn stores when asking for organic cotton yarn dyed with organic dye I got the same response, "We had problems with the yarn colored with organic dye so we no longer carry it". They both had organic cotton yarn and some natural color organic cotton yarn, but neither carried a variety of colored yarns dyed with organic dye.
Blue Sky Alpacas has beautiful organic yarn. That is the brand of the tan yarn above that I found in a local yarn store. Ecobutterfly Organics also looks like a fun place to shop.
After doing some research I found a website that said "Our organically grown naturally dyed yarn is colored with plant dyes and due to their organic nature some shade variation will simply add to the yarn's unique inherent beauty". They also said to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and follow the recommended wash care instructions. I can understand and accept that. However, this was the problem the yarn stores were having and they got enough complaints to discontinue the product.
But why should I care about organic cotton? It is more expensive. Well according to the Organic Trade Association cotton uses more insecticides than any other major crop. Cotton covers 2.5% of the world's cultivated land and yet uses 16% of the world's insecticides. Aldicarb, an insecticide used on cotton, is acutely poisonous to humans. It can kill a man with just one drop absorbed through the skin, yet it is still used and has been found in groundwater in 16 states, according to OTA. Cotton production also ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food oil or indirectly through the milk and meat of animals that have consumed cottonseed hull that is sold as feed. It can take 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton and it take just under a pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt.