Amble is a heavy fingering-weight yarn made from a blend of eco-friendly washable wool and alpaca for comfort as well as recycled nylon for strength. Although designed especially forsock knitting, this is a soft and durable yarn also great for easy-to-care-for sweaters and accessories.
When The Fibre Co. set out to design a sock yarn, we stayed true to our guiding principle of harnessing the beauty that nature provides in a way that is gentle on our planet. We waited until a recycled nylon and an alternative to the standard chlorine processed washable wools became available. The end result is a soft yet durable yarn from Merino wool and alpaca fibres processed with an eco-friendly anti-shrinkage Easy-wash treatment. The recycled nylon adds strength and durability. We named this yarn Amble to reflect the kind of slow relaxed walking we enjoy here in the English Lake District. Some of the shades are borrowed from the successful palette in our Cumbria yarn with the cream and all heathers using a natural ecru Suri alpaca whilst the others use a natural brown Suri alpaca.
What does Easy-wash mean and why do we use it? Easy-wash is a trademarked name that refers to a process used to make the wool and alpaca fibres in Amble machine washable without shrinking. The Easy-wash method is chlorine-free and AOX-free, making it a better environmental choice for producing machine washable wool. The wool and alpaca fibres are treated with eco-friendly oxidants to remove the scales that ordinarily cause wool and alpaca to shrink when washed by machine. The oxidants used are sourced in Germany and are certified under the REACH, Oeko-tex and ZDCH (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemical) standards. This means that the Easy-wash treatment does not involve the discharge of hazardous chemicals, which is not the case with most machine washable wools in today’s market.
Much of the available machine washable wool yarn is made with a chlorine treatment process that produces high levels of toxic Adsorbable Organohalogens, known as AOX. While yarns produced in this manner are not known to be toxic to the user, AOX used in the treatment end up in wastewater and have a detrimental impact on tributaries, wildlife, and fauna.
What is recycled nylon and why do we use it? Nylon fibre is not easily biodegradable. However, it has strength qualities that give yarns and the socks made therefrom more durability. The recycled nylon used in our sock yarn Amble comes from leftover industrial waste of processing nylon, thereby diverting waste from landfills, and using fewer production resources like water and fossil fuels than virgin nylon.