Tencel, Tencel everywhere!

While some of you follow my Orchard House Studios page on Facebook, maybe all of you don’t. Here’s the deal: I’ve been hunting for a 5/2 rayon replacement for a while now. I really prefer Tencel rayon because it is processed in a more eco-friendly way. I know that no fiber process will be completely green but I do try to do my part and support the ones that try to be green. Plus Tencel has SUCH a lovely hand (feel)! Tencel is processed in a closed system where they recycle 90%+ of the waste water so it’s not just going out into the environment.

But back to the hunt. The usual online yarn stores I order from do not have Tencel in a 5/2 gauge. Most carry either 10/2, 8/2 or 20/2. I’ve used quite a bit of 8/2 Tencel but I really like having chunkier yarns for some of my work. Anyway, I asked on a weaving forum (Weavolution.com) if anyone knew where you could find Tencel in a 5/2 gauge and one gal answered and said to contact Teresa Rush since she dyes 5/2 Tencel and sells it on her website. I emailed Teresa and asked where she gets her yarn. She was quick to reply that she gets it from a mill in Quebec by 1,000lb orders…That seemed a bit excessive for my purposes but she said she was offering it for sale in smaller quantities. There was a 50 pounds minimum for wholesale and I decided the wholesale price was too good to pass up so I ordered 25 pounds of 5/2 and 25 pounds of 10/2. She was quick with the PayPal invoice and quick to ship. She was even going out of town for a week and preparing for a weaving conference and she STILL shipped all of the yarn before she left! I am SO thankful and SO excited!!!

My yarn will be here Monday. I checked the tracking info with UPS and it says the box weighs 54 pounds. Eek! That’s a lot of yarn!

I’ve already begun planning projects for the yarn. Since the yarn is all white, I have to add a step to my planning: DYEING! I have to admit, I’m fairly excited about this prospect. Yes, it will make projects longer but I think it’s going to be good. I like the idea of controlling more parts of the process. I like mixing my own colors. The idea of rinsing out over a pound of yarn is a bit intimidating, but I’m investigating alternative fiber-reactive dyes. We’ll see what comes of this…

The first warp going on will be an overshot threading with a twill treadling for striped shawls in a thick 5/2 weight Tencel. I’m planning on setting it around 12 epi. I’m going to do a sample warp of three scarves. I plan on increasing my number of scarves per warp by one or two so I have less waste and less time spent dressing the loom. So three scarves seems like a good start. I can’t wait for Monday and to get my hands on some YARN! Now…where will I put all of it….


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