Here at Tangled Yarn, we are making some changes; I talked about them a while back we are saying goodbye to some of our large brands to make more room for smaller yarn producers, indie dyers and yarn companies that have a strong link to their community one such company is Manos Del Uruguay.
The Manos Cooperatives was started in 1968 by five women who had a desire to help women in Uruguay with economic opportunities and work. Things started out small by selling handmade crafts to local shops but the cooperatives grew over time, there are now 17 individual women's cooperatives through Uruguay which employ over 350 artisans.
Each individual coop is still very much a small local business but with the support of the large and well-organised business of Manos Del Uruguay which provides health insurance, retirement pensions, paid vacations and paid maternity leave for their members.
Manos yarns are spun and dyed in the rural communities using artisanal processes. Yarns are kettle dyed in pots heated by wood fire or gas. Their colours are never completely solid but have beautiful nuances and tone variations. To achieve these spectacular space dyed colours, they dye each skein up to 6 times. After being dyed their yarns are sun-dried in the backyard often with chickens wandering around the beneath the drying yarn.
Each skein is unique; there are no two skeins the same. Each skein is signed, so you will know who made your yarn, and from which village it came. By purchasing yarn from Manos Del Uruguay, you are helping a woman to support her family. You can find out more about the Manos Cooperatives and the artisans here.
Manos has developed a new splattered dyeing technique and have four new beautiful colours in Alegria: Manglar, Ghostbusters, Happy & Caracas.
I love what Manos Del Uruguay stands for, as a knitter it's important to me to know where my yarn has comes from and the story behind it. As a woman who runs a small business from home, it's important knowing that I'm helping other women as far away as Uruguay to be economically independent.