Hemp Yarn Story

Hemp and Cotton Hand towels
Hemp and Cotton Hand towels

There is a hemp revival underway. Hemp is a plant that fed, sheltered and clothed mankind for millennium, provided fodder for the first domestic animals, may have been the actual fiber used to make the beautiful ‘linen’ garments from the times of the Egyptian Pharaohs, supplied the flag fabric that Betsy Ross stitched to commemorate a new nation and to cover the wagons that traveled from the east coast to the American West.

A New/Old Crop

Hemp has recaptured the attention of farmers, processors and investors as a sustainable crop for oil, food and fiber. We at Lunatic Fringe Yarns are committed to building a market for this gorgeous yarn to show those farmers, processors and investors that there IS a market for textile grade hemp in the United States.  Building the market for the products is a huge step along the way to getting the fiber more readily available.

Lyte Hemp Yarns

This hemp yarn will light your fire! We have a new line of gorgeous, lovely to work with, high quality European Hemp.  This hemp yarn is a wonderful 2-ply yarn.

We have dyed these yarns in 21 of the bright, saturated colors you have come to expect from Lunatic Fringe Yarns.  These colors have been dyed specially for Lunatic Fringe Yarns by a dye house right here in the US.  In addition to the 21 colors, fine hemp yarns are available in a creamy Bleached yarn, and the bold yarns are available in both bleached and natural.  See the table below for the approximate number of yards on each cone size.

Cone SizeApproximate # of Yards/cone
1.5 oz Mini 470
4 oz1,250
8 oz2,500

The Lyte Hemp yarn comes in two sizes:  Bold and Fine.  Lyte Fine yarns have approximately 5,000 yards per pound.  We recommend setting the Lyte Fine at 30-36 epi and the same for ppi.  The Lyte Fine yarn combines beautifully with 16/2 or 20/2 cotton yarns.  Lyte Bold yarns have approximately 2,600 yards per pound: Sett at 20-28 epi and beat at 20-28 ppi. The Lyte Bold combines beautifully with 10/2 or 8/2 cotton yarns.   Both the Lyte Bold and Lyte Fine are strong enough to use for warp.

To minimize the exuberant tendencies of these yarns as you are weaving: soak your bobbins and pirns in water prior to use.  It doesn’t need to be a long soak (10 minutes or so is plenty…the bobbins will sink below the surface of the water as they get fully wet).  Then blot dry and weave your fabric.  This prevents the yarn from escaping from the bobbins.

Colors are dyed with Fiber Reactive dyes and are washfast.


3 ply Colors too

We have colors available in 3 ply yarn.  It is made by LanaKnits from Canada, and the skeins are spun and dyed in China.  It comes in a range of vibrant colors that are dyed with reactive dyes and are mercerized for colorfastness. This yarn is a fingering weight which is approximately the same as 5/2 cotton, a perfect weft yarn for clothing, towels, overshot. .Sett it at 15 for lace weaves and plain weave, 18 for twills. It washes and polishes beautifully with ironing. It also doesn’t fuzz while you are weaving with it. Colors are available in 50 g skeins with 165 yards per skein. The skeins are spun and dyed in China.

Try out these hemp yarns and see what wonderful fabrics you can make.  Some of our favorite towels are woven with hemp warp and Sustainable, Unmercerized Cotton Yarn for the weft.  The 8/2 and 10/2 cotton yarns combine well with the 2 ply hemp yarns for soft and absorbent towels.

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