HNW - recycling

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Tue Sep 15 13:18:29 PDT 1998

><< Aside from parfilage (the practice of picking apart gold thread from
> fabric, whether knitted, woven or embroidered), which was quite a fad in
> the eighteenth century amongst the wealthy, I've never seen any evidence of
> items being unravelled and reknitted. There are probably several reasons
> for this--
. . . . .
>I would suspect that just from a practical standpoint, garments which
>were unraveled for their yarn to be made into a new garment were garments
>which were showing wear.  I can see this as being a far greater motivation
>than simply wanting to knit and wear something more fashionable.  Why would
>anyone unravel a perfectly good garment?  Conversely, why toss the yarn
from a
>garment which still has useable portions?  Practicality would be my

I often unravel sweaters I find at the thrift stores, which I buy just for
the yarn, because that's the only way to get novelty yarn in acrylic.  $4
for a sweater beats $8/50gr. for dry-clean only novelty wool yarn.  I get
some really interesting yarn this way.  

Sweaters from Hong Kong and Korea are likely to be cut out of knitted
fabric, and only unravelable into short lengths.  Sweaters from Singapore
and Taiwan are more likely to be knitted in pieces, and unravelable into
large balls.  

Sometimes the yarn is two strands, and separable into two kinds of yarn.
Sometimes I don't unravel the ribbing, so I can use it for a crochet
sweater from the same yarn (I don't like to knit ribbing).  Fuzzy acrylic
sweaters  sometimes get felted, and are hard to unravel.

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