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Topic: vegan felting?  (Read 2044 times)
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Atouria
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2005 07:41:56 PM »

It's about more than just the mulesing, but it is about that as well.  It's about being bred so that sheep have more wrinkles and will, therefore, have more wool.  It's about being paid by the piece, so that they just shear as much wool as possible in the shortest amount of time possible: more wool = more money. 

I would have to say that it's not completely hypocritical to buy acrylic from the larger yarn companies.  Yes, you will partially be funding the wool industry.  But if your only choice is to buy from those companies, at least you will be showing them that there is support for non-wool yarns.  Personally, I'm not a fan of acrylic at all.  It's not good for the environment.  I try to buy natural fibers: cotton (I'm working toward organic cotton), bamboo, soy silk, nettle, hemp.

I agree with jadey that supporting local spinning guilds is a good way to go.  If you love wool, you should get it from people who love the sheep they raise.  I may buy some next month from some local spinners that I know.  I love it when I hear them say that Ryan (the sheep) gave them their wool.  (Of course, they have many more than just Ryan.)

And no, don't believe everything you hear from PETA.  Go out and do some research.  That way you can be sure of supporting facts and arguments.  Never get all your information from one source.

Here's another site that gives a less graphic description of what goes on:  http://www.vegsource.com/jo/qa/qawool.htm

Rombooklover, if you ever want to chat or need help with something, feel free to PM me.


~atouria
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jinn
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2005 09:02:22 PM »

Just to put in my two cents as a vegan...  It's not really about hypocracy as much as it is about realism.  If you live in modern society, there is no possible way to avoid all animal products, it's really disturbing the things that they are used in.  But most people do their best to be as vegan as possible.  Personally, I just try to keep those beautiful big brown cow eyes in my mind, and the sound of the lambs baaing on a crisp English morning.. and try to do as little damage as possible.
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RomBookLover
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2005 05:24:17 PM »

Just a quickie since I last posted here: I did do a little personal research on one of my favorite US merino sources, Morehouse Farm, and I was pleased to discover that their farm exceeds HSUS and NY state standards and has received numerous commendations for the treatment of their animals.  At least I now know that the folks at Morehouse care about their flock to a degree that meets some sort of standards (and, yeah, I know that some of those standards aren't always so great, but at least it's something.)  I also discovered that Bartlett Yarns of Maine, though a cooperative, takes in fleece from small shepherding farms all over the US and has actually refused to take in fleece from shepherds who have been cited for violating humane standards and such.  As an aside, many of Bartlett's contributing shepherds are Heifer International project participants right from Maine!   I'm a big supporter of Heifer, so I was happy to see one of their US based projects working rather well.

Ah, still, I'd love for my wool to come from someone's pride-and-joy with a name.  "This is from one of my girls, Millie.  We hope you enjoy her wool."  I swear, I'd gush tears for that experience!  (What a sap, I know.   Tongue)
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2005 06:21:59 PM »

I think that's awesome that you did so much research on your wool.  When I read what you said about it coming from someones baby with a name, I got a bit misty myself.. Hee hee.  Millie, sweet name for a sheep!  Cheesy
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soychicka
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2005 06:48:17 PM »

perhaps odd, but a more cruelty-free, although not 'vegan' option could be using pet yarn... there's a place called vipfibers.com that you can either send your own pet's clippings in and have them spin them, or buy their pre-spun pet yarn.  i have a bichon, and i've been saving her clippings, and know that they felt up nicely... i think that's essentially what mats are.  so you could save up clippings and send them off, or spin them yourself, maybe.  you might even be able to get 'donations' from a groomer you trust.  i don't think it would be an issue regarding treatment of the animal, since if they don't get groomed, some dogs can get so matted that they have seriously impaired lives.

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midnightsky1686
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2005 07:02:43 PM »

Soysilk will felt a bit- just like silk will a little.  the only other way around it it to make the tote at a very tight guage.  

I always have issues buying wool and yarnl from big stores, especially acrylic because it requires oil to make  (and is made from in many cases).  And with wool, well i just like to see what it came from.

While not vegan (just vegetarian) I try to look for a couple things when i buy yarn:

1.) is there a way to tell if the animal was treated well?  for my fibers i spin that is often hard to verify since i go through a LOT of fiber on a monthly basis and dont live close enough to farms to verify if their animals are being treated well, so i have to take someones word for it.  Im curretnyl remedying part of the problem by switching to a wool blend (instead of merino) that is a mixture of american sheep and all from the us, no imports.  

2.) is it supported by or run by a group that benefits from the process.  THis could be the handspinner, a coop, your lys, anything thats not big business.

3.) what is used to dye it?  (note that some acrylics may not actually be vegan...many dyes come from animal products and by products!).  I look for vegan dyes and an environmentally friendly mordant (such as white vingera)

ussualyl i can only meet 2 of the 3 standards both when buying yarn or purchasing my own, but thats better than not at all.

Good yarn sources if you cant find handspun:
cascade (eco.  it now comes in colrs)
henry's attic organic cotton(this might actually felt up a bit, its very softly spun)
manos
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2005 03:11:59 PM »

I think it's great to live lightly on the the earth and I respect anyone who tries--it's not always black and white what is the best thing to do, unfortunately, but worht trying to figure it out.

Although I'm not a vegan, I do try to be compassionate--but if I were a vegan, i would buy all my wool from local spinners--it supports a local craftsperson and also supports their animal husbandry.

I bought a fleece  from my friend Tari for flat felting and I know exactly which "lady" it came from--she always gets a special treat from me in thanks.

I'm a soapmaker and I tell my customers which of my products are vegan--but I also tell them that the goats i get my goat's milk from and the bees i get my beeswax from live the life of Riley--and the farmers adore them and pamper them like mad--I don't think they mind sharing what they produce in exchange.

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