Name:Alpaca (Vicugna pacos)

Origin:Andes (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile)

Micron Range: 18 - 35

Alpaca is a camelid mammal. Alpaca fibre is like wool but much softer and silkier for the same micron. It is available in over 30 natural colors. Alpaca is lanolin and grease free and is hypoallergenic (does not cause skin itching). Alpaca is popular for making apparels.

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Name:Mohair (Capra aegagrus hircus)

Origin:South Africa, USA, Turkey, Argentina etc.

Micron Range: 23 - 40

Mohair is derived from Angora goat. It is noted for its high luster and sheen. It has silky feel. Dyes exceptionally well. Has good moisture wicking properties and is crease resistant. It is considered as luxury fibre and used for apparels, carpets and outdoor fabric.

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Name:Angora Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Origin:Turkey (Angora Farms: Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Russia, India and many other nations.)

Micron Range: 8 - 20

Angora is a fluffy fibre produced by Angora Rabbit (not to be confused with Angora goat which gives mohair). The fibre is soft and very light. Normally blended with wool or other fibers. It is used in sweaters and apparels.

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Name:Cashmere (Capra aegagrus hircus)

Origin:China, Mongolia, Tibet, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan etc.

Micron Range: 14 - 19

Cashmere is a luxury fibre obtained from goats. The word comes from Indian region of Kashmir known for its famous shawls. It is finer, stronger, lighter, softer and 3 times warmer than wool. China and Mongolia are the leading producers of Cashmere.

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Name:Pashmina (Capra aegagrus hircus)

Origin:Ladakh (India)

Micron Range: 12 - 15

Pashmina is the true cashmere from Ladakh, India. It is the world's finest cashmere derived from Changthangi goat. It is ultra-soft, ultra-warm, light weight, popularized by Kashmiri artisans who spin the yarn by hand and make shawls on handloom.

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Name:Silkworm (Bombyx mori)

Origin:India, China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Iran, Thailand, North Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Romania etc

Micron Range: 5 - 25

Silk is the ancient super luxury fibre and the most sought-after possession for centuries. Silk route has been famous for 1000s of years. Silk is one of the strongest natural fibers. It is smooth and soft, but not slippery. Silk is the natural reference for denier. One strand of silk is approximately one denier (9000 mtrs. of one silk strand weighs approx. 1 gram).

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Name:Llama (Lama glama)

Origin:Andes (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile)

Micron Range: 20 - 40

Llama is a camelid closely related to Alpaca. Their fibre is soft and lanolin free. Available in natural colors, generally coarser than Alpaca. The fibre is warm and soft, hypoallergenic.

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Name:Yak (Bos grunniens)

Origin:India, Tibet, Mongolia & Central Asia

Micron Range: 16 - 90

Yak fibre has been used by nomads in Himalayas for more than 1000 years for apparels, ropes and blankets. The down fibre 16-24 microns is soft, very warm, premium fibre used for apparels and clothing. It has high degree of heat insulation and better luster than wool. The coarser microns are used for tents, ropes, blankets etc.

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Name:Merino (Ovis Aries)

Origin:Australia, Spain, Uruguay, parts of Africa and other nations in small numbers.

Micron Range: 12 - 24

Merino breed of sheep is prized for its wool. 85% of the world's merino wool comes from Australia. It's known for its softness, luster, warmth and is widely used for knitwear and apparel industry. Merino within the sheep wools is considered high end wool for various purposes.

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Name:Muskox (Ovibos moschatus)

Origin:Greenland, Alaska, Canadian Arctic, Russia, Sweden

Micron Range: 13 - 18

Qiviut is the inner wool of Muskox. It is stronger and warmer than sheep wool, softer than Cashmere. It is naturally shrunk resistant. It is extremely warm, non-irritating to skin and expensive.

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Name:Tibetan antelope / Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii)

Origin:India, Tibet

Micron Range: 7 - 11

Shahtoosh is a Persian word meaning "King of Wools". Microns range from 7-11. It is sourced from Tibetan antelope (Chiru) and is now banned due to over exploitation in Ladakh. It is the world's most expensive natural animal fibre. Shahtoosh shawls have been made since centuries by Kashmiri artisans in India. They are so fine that a shawl can pass through a wedding ring and is prized as the most expensive apparel in the world.

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Name:Vicuna (Vicugna Vicugna)

Origin:Andes (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile)

Micron Range: 6 - 12.5 (mostly 12-12.5)

Vicuna is relative of Llama camelid, generates extremely fine wool in small amounts. Vicuna is very warm, has hollow insulating fibers, generally not dyed, used as natural color. Vicuna is used for super luxury fabrics and apparels. It is considered as one of the most expensive natural fibre.

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Yarn Terminologies Basics and Yarn weight charts

1.What is a yarn count?

Yarn count refers to weight of the yarn in unit length, or length of the yarn in unit weight, in other terms how heavy or light the yarn is, (in simple terms thickness, though thickness also depends on the fibre and bulk of the yarn)

Yarn count is expressed in many units, two most common units are Nm count and Tax count.

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All About Wool

Since the existence of early man, who used to use raw hides with wool to protect himself, Humans have been washing, wearing wool since 10000 BCE .

Source of wool is sheep, depending on the breed, region etc the wool from breed of sheep determines the quality of the wool

Scouring ( washing ) of Wool : Sheep doesn’t bathe every day hence the wool on the sheep gathers ,

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What is Acrylic?

Acrylic yarn is made from Acrylic fibre / tow – which is a man-made fibre basic derivative is acrylonitrile which is further made from crude oil. Acrylic fibre is available in various deniers ranging from 0.9 to 17, most commonly used denier for Hand knitting yarns range from 2 to 6, Lower the denier of the fibre softer is the yarn, higher the denier bulkier is the yarn, hence right mix depending on end use of the yarn is needed, Example baby yarns will have lower denier mix, Latch yarns can have higher denier

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