Examples of the fibres used by Feather & Hay

I am committed to making choices that respect our natural world. With an emphasis on quality raw materials, I use traditional equipment and slow processes to minimise the impact on our environment and ensure the beauty and longevity of the textile. When Feather & Hay selects a fibre the choice is based on it’s quality and over all impact including environmental and cruelty free. I buy yarns from the UK and often from Scotland. Some yarns will be sourced, spun and dyed in Britain. 

Please find a quick overview of fibres. Watch out for more information on the blog.

Cotton: Cotton is a natural fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant. it is a good all round fibre that absorbs water and is breathable. it is easy to care for as it will tolerate most detergents and can be washed at high temperatures. Although it is sustainable, renewable, and biodegradable Cotton can rely heavily on pesticides and water in order to grow impacting local environments. 

TencelTencel is a branded form of Lyocell. Lyocell is a form of rayon which consists of cellulose fibre made from dissolving pulp. It is a natural man-made fibre. It is economical in its use of energy and natural resources, and is fully biodegradable. The yarn usually has a lovely sheen to it and takes dye very well. It is smooth and supply and good for sensitive skin. 

Bamboo: Bamboo yarn made from bamboo fibre using a similar manufacturing process to rayon. Bamboo is a fast growing plant that grows without fertilisers and pesticides and can withstand harsh conditions. It absorbs and wicks away moisture faster than cotton and resists creasing. It is biodegradable. Processed to give a very smooth and silky finish with a subtle shine. The manufacturing processes where bamboo the plant is transformed into bamboo the fabric are where the sustainability and eco-friendly luster of bamboo is tarnished because of the heavy chemicals, some of which are toxic, that are often required. It is a case of weighing up the benefits on one side against the other. 

Merino wool: Merino wool is super soft and has many other qualities including, flame retardancy, odour resistant, stain resistant, water resistant and it is naturally elastic. It is excellent at regulating body temperature, especially when worn against the skin, providing warmth without overheating the wearer. Feather & Hay sources Merino wool that is Mulesing free. 

Merino/Tencel Blend: A gorgeously soft yarn benefiting from the small percentage of Tencel – adds a little sheen and wonderful drape to the hand woven textile (please note there may be other percentage blends used, one example is 80% Merino wool 20% Tencel). This yarn is hand dyed. 

Linen: Technically, linen is a vegetable. Linen fabric is made from the cellulose fibers that grow inside of the stalks of the flax plan. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants and one of those fibres that improves with age and wearing.  The flax plant is also the second most highly productive crop (after hemp) per hectare, which can successfully grow without the use of herbicides and pesticides. Its production uses little water which makes it the second most water efficient fibre (after hemp). 

Silk: Silk is a natural protein fibre. The fibre of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoons. The well known Mulberry silk collects the cocoons of the larvae from the mulberry silk worm, this is a pale fibre with beautiful sheen. Tussah silk is produced by tussah silkworms and is usually a natural golden colour but can vary from pale cream to a dark rich brown. There is also Bourette Silk which is a silk noil – this is the short fibres left over from combing wool or spinning silk. It makes a rustic yet soft texture. Feather & Hay often uses many Silk blended yarns such as Nettle/Silk or Rose/Silk. 

Lambswool: Lambswool is wool which is 50mm or shorter from the first shearing of a sheep, at around the age of seven months.  It is fine and soft, and requires minimal processing. Feather & Hay currently uses in in a yarn mixed with Cashmere to give extra softness and comfort against the skin for the wearer. 

Cellulose based fibre blends:

Rose/Silk: This lovely soft yarn is an equal blend of classic spun mulberry silk and rose viscose, a regenerated fibre produced from rose plants. This yarn feels soft in hand and has the sheen of both mulberry silk and rose. It’s a lovely blend. {Quoted from saltwaterthreads.com}

Nettle/Silk: Spun mulberry silk and ramie are blended together to make this lovely yarn. Ramie is a member of the nettle family and is a bast fibre, giving it drape and strength that we know from linen, with a bit more of a delicate though textured feel. The yarn is naturally creamy white, though in places you can see the golden ramie in the yarn, but the yarn is soft and not scratchy. {Quoted from saltwaterthreads.com}

This is not an exhaustive list! Feather & Hay likes to try new fibres all the time. Keep an eye out for more.