Big Hero Wool is a pure giant merino wool, hand-spun in an alpine lodge at 1300 meters in the Italian Alps!
Interestingly enough? To us it seemed so when we started looking for a super fiber to add to our collection of yarn!
We wanted a nice product, but also rich in meaning, able to release emotions. When we try something new, we always wonder “if and what” this new p roduct can add something to what we already have in our catalog. There seems to be a common sense approach, which really matches the concept of sustainable fashion, which we are particularly fond of.
So, in this research, we met Greta Silva, from which was born a collaboration for the giant yarn Big Hero Wool and a project that will be revelead soon after…
What is “Big Hero Wool”?
It is a wonderful giant yarn, 100% merino wool, of an incredible finesse (only 19 microns!) and produced by animals reared in accordance with the highest standards of farming, or cruelty free and mulesing free. This means that the Big Hero Wool is obtained from a painless shearing and that does not cause any lesion to the animal’s skin.
The manual spinning of this giant wool is obtained using instruments that belong to the history of textile art. Greta infact uses a spinning wheel and an old manual wool roller: you will not believe it does not use electricity for this production process and especially does everything by itself!
The dyeing is traditional, but made precious by the reduced environmental impact process, guaranteed by important international certifications such as Emas and Gots.
The colors are beautiful and with evocative names:
Big Hero Wool can be either knitted or crocheted, with needles and hook of 25 mm (about 50 US) size and more, or through the fascinating Arm Knitting technique!
But who is Greta Silva, and how was her idea born?
Do you want to know more about this woman, that magically creates such a special yarn? Read our interview:
Greta, tell us how did the passion for manual spinning?
I met the wool for the first time 5 years ago when I moved from Milan in a small hut in the Val Grande National Park in Piedmont. In this place, far from everything I was used, I felt the need to express myself creatively through new, natural and simple materials.
Looking around, I saw abandoned pastures, and I realized that, up to 50 years before, all the ruined pastures had been places for flocks grazing, back when the sheep were bred for wool. I wondered what had become of all the characters involved in this simple and hard life.
I then put in search of surviving shepherds, I bought my first lot of dirty wool, I read up how to wash, how to dye and to card it.… and I did the first experiments! …actually I had already loved the wool right away, and I began to love it even before learning to spin it!
How did you learn how to spin?
I owe everything to Angela, my young and passionate teacher of 85 years! She passed me down with joy her little knowhow of spinner. It took some time to get her to tell me her story from the beginning, since she was a child and was knitting socks for the whole family… I was lucky to meet her!
Rediscover the tradition is one of the new trends, what do you think?
I didn’t know it was a trend! I hope it is rather a way to help develop a more critical view of our society so consumerist. To rediscover the value of knowing how to do, or rather knowing how to do something by themselves without the need of having to buy! In this sense, the tradition teaches us to have a more human point of view on what we are and what we can achieve in our lives.
What BK product do you love most?
But Big Hero, the giant merino, of course! Actually I am a fan of BettaKnit! I really like the style of the brand, I appreciate the styling research and taste in the choice of colors.
Do you love to listen to music while you create?
I love to be in perfect silence, for so I do not lose anything of what is happening around me: the call of the eagles in the hunt, or dogs that are passing through, deer and sheep bleating at the door because they want fresh hay …. and then the stream, the wind, the birds … a beautiful quiet noise!
We do not want to add more to the words of Greta. We love everything: her thinking, her products, the world around her.
We leave you with a message from her to all aspiring creative, knitters or whatever you want to be:
Do not be afraid to make sacrifices and above all do not listen to the people around you who discourage you and will consider you as crazy …. because a person who nurtures its own creativity will never really need anything else!
This post is also available in: Italian