I hope that my blog posts will give a feel to why I source particular fibres and why I love knitting with yarn from Italy, Yorkshire and Scotland. I would like to start my first blog with this particular yarn mill as their products are of the highest quality with an array of beautiful colours that is often used in my collections; I am currently knitting, experimenting and developing with this yarn for my upcoming collection.
Whilst living and working in Italy I was lucky to be invited for the day to the Zegna Baruffa Mill in Biella, Northern Italy. I have a huge appreciation of yarn and I am also quite a hoarder/collector of beautiful blends. I love learning the different processes that are used for worsted and woollen yarns and this often has an influence on designing a collection.
Zegna Baruffa are well-known for their noble and fancy yarns but I would like to highlight their specialism in worsted, high quality merino wool that embodies tradition and innovation with their Supermélangetechnology.
Sourcing highly prized fibres from Australia, it is then processed through its vertical integrated system, emphasises the characteristics of merino: the elasticity of the yarn, great softness and a exceptionally bright and solid colours. From working with Zegna Baruffa whilst living in Italy, I had the great opportunity to work with their colour consistency programs and technology, which gave richness of colour and accurate pantone matches. This reduced the long winded and painful lab dipping process by half!
On a tour around the mill you see the process from raw tops to a cone of yarn; scouring. carding, combing, spinning, coning, twisting and dyeing. The most fascinating part of the tour was watching the Supermélange being dyed/printed, this has given me a new love and understanding of melange with its depth of colour and tone, giving unique shades to the yarn that could not be achieved with traditional techniques.
The tour was followed by a beautiful Italian lunch with lots of Prosecco! Benissimo!