Misleading marketing

the new "natural" fibers bug me. Just ran into someone enthusing about the ethical benefits of knitting with corn/Ingeo yarns - since it was "natural and renewable". Yeah, well so are linen, wool, alpaca, angora, cotton, hemp, to name a few. And those fibers don't involve fermenting and denaturing the raw material into a chemical slurry that is then mixed with plasticizers and extruded into an artificial fiber.


I've never known of a sheep or alpaca to run out of wool...and they have been "natural" for some time now... renewable...well. It's a concept farmers and ranchers have long known about. I agree with you!

MMario's picture

never known of a sheep or alpaca to run out of wool
- I have, to tell the truth - but you do tend to see some wierd things when you attend an agricultural college that has a vetinary school associated with it. Like a breed of (nearly) featherless chickens, or the long-haired hogs...
then there was the cow with the bunson burner connected to her rumen.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Go Mario! I was beginning to think I was out of step in not enthusing about 'natural' fibres. I like to see newly shorn sheep because I know that their 'natural' fleeces are on their way to be spun and woven or knitted and in a few months' time the fleece will be back, ready to provide more 'natural' fibres for spinning, weaving and knitting. Maybe I lived in sheep country too long.

Parrot's picture

I agree with your thoughts about misleading marketing. My LYS owner recently shared with me the "truth" about these so called natural fibers. She is pretty much phasing out her stock of this stuff and concentrating on the real natural fibers that do something to help the herders, such as the Mirasol lines, and the smaller farms and studios in the U.S. I much prefer the feel of the NATURAL fibers of llama, alpaca, mohair, and wool.

KilgoreTrout's picture

Right, just because you can knit with soy, doesn't mean its better. I bet these "all natural" yarn companies are just going with the current buzz words. If its organic, all natural, renewable, etc, you can charge a buck more and it will sell. Lets face it, dog shit is as natural as corn, that doesn't mean we should be making it into a scarf...

If wishes and buts were clusters and nutes we'd all have a bowl of granola.

scenter's picture

Remember: All marketers are liars. The only thing a marketer cares about is getting money, truth be damned. They highlight unimportant things, in this case the source of the cellulose - bamboo, corn etc, and forget to tell you that it is really a synthetic rayon. Unfortunately this is the world in the third millennium...caveat emptor.

The same is true in the Neutraceutical, Drug, and Cosmetic industries. For example a "Natural" shampoo can contain the detergent Sodium or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate because the 'Laureth' part was derived from coconut oil, even though the detergent itself does not occur in nature and the coconut was reacted with antifreeze, lye, ammonia, sulfuric acid and other things to produce it.

One major hurdle is that there is no legal definition of what a 'natural' product is (except for foods) and marketers (aka Snake Oil Salesmen) are once again having a field day at our expense.

scottly's picture

Gosh acrylic is natural as well if you think about it and renewable if you're willing to wait several million years for a new petroleum crop. I Knew when I found soy, bamboo etc. in the local chain craft store and not the lys it was far from natural.

I wish I were knitting now.

BuduR's picture

Yeah those spouting about the new "natural fibers" bug me as much as those commercials where they say "Digital TV is so much better in fact that by law all televisions must be digital by 2009" Misinformation is the mother of ignorance. But I guess that "fermenting and denaturing the raw material into a chemical slurry that is then mixed with plasticizers and extruded into an artificial fiber" really isn't the best of all marketing ploys.

P.S. it's not because digital tv is better that we're being forced to make the change. the government has thier own plans for analog. just in case you didn't know.
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MWK's Token Estrogen-American