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Calling all designers: make patterns for a new yarn company

Posted by Deadly Knitshade on February 10, 2011

Fibres Exotica are an online yarn seller offering some rather lovely Mulberry Silk and Recycled SariSilk Yarns, Silk Fibres and Silk Fabric. They also work to promote and support fair trade to India. They have lovely yarn and a good ethical foundation and now they need the help of pattern designers.

Nikki, who also runs Fluffenstuff (UK-based Yarn Dyer and Stitchmarker maker), explains how your designs and their yarn could make something fabulous.

“In 2006, I made contact with a mill in India, to obtain silk for my dyeing business Fluffenstuff. Fluffenstuff only dyes above Aran weight yarn, but the mill sells a great deal more weights than just that! So I set up a business specialising in silk yarns, fibres and fabrics in 2010 because there just isn’t enough silk for fibre artists to play with on the UK market.

We took Fibres Exotica to Alexandra Palace in 2010, and something many customers and potential customers noted was our lack of patterns. The mill have not produced patterns to go with their yarns and that where Stitch London’s budding designers come in.

I’m looking to work with designers to create a range of patterns to suit all of the yarns weights that we stock.

What do we need? Sample pieces created to both photograph for the website and display at various shows.

Who can design a pattern? I’m looking to work with both up-and-coming designers and established ones.  (If you want to write a free pattern to submit to, I’m 100% behind you!) I expect the patterns to be fully tech edited, written to a high standard and use standard symbology/terminology.

What would the designer get? Depending on your requirements as a designer, I’ll either offer  a lump-sum payment up front to own the design and copyright exclusively, or we share copyright and I give you a large % of the profit from sales (probably a 75:25 split in this case).

Alternatively,  if you want to knit a Creative Commons/free-for-all pattern, you retain the copyright and give me distributions right to me and anyone else you want.

Anything else? I’ll also offer yarn support. You will get the same amount of yarn (or a different yarn/amount with the same £ value) as the garment you knit to do what you want with. This will be go along with whatever you decide on as your payment option.

What if you can’t design but can knit? I’d also love 4 or 5 sample pieces making up from existing Knitty, Wooly Wormhead, Ravelry etc patterns for display and people’s inspiration. This will be a paid-for in cash job and I will own the piece.

I’d (mostly) like the knitter/crocheter to pick the pattern they think will suit the yarn they want to try out.

Any ideas to help designers and knitters get started? On my “Think I should have” list:

Please note: the pattern has to be a free-distribution one, so that I can label the display and point other people to it to give them inspiration (and a knit kit!)”

The lovely yarns:

There are 6 variations of 100% silk sliver machine spun yarns in various weights and plies. All are wonderfully smooth and shiny and take colour very well indeed.

The world is your oyster here, I would imagine most things could be made from one of these yarns:
Marahraja – 730m per 100g 2-ply/Lace weight
Aleena – 200m per 100g  4 ply/Sport weight
Duke Fine –  320m per 100g 4-ply/Sport weight
Swan – 366m per 100g Double Knit/Worsted weight
Duke – 229m per 100g Double Knit/Worsted weight
Duke Double – 183m per 100g Aran weight

Dupioni Silk – 730m yards per 100 Grams 2-ply/Lace weight
Made direct from the cocoon, the threads are reeled, plied and replied to the required weight. It tends to be rougher to the hand as the threads are natural and slightly irregular, but are beautiful when dyed, especially when dyed in a variegated way.
Ideas: Lace patterns.

Kohinoor – 80m per 100g Chunky/Bulky weight
Made from sari warp thread before the saris are woven. These threads gives unprecedented smoothness in a sari silk style yarn, as well as good colour vibrancy and grouping.
Ideas: hats, scarves, bags, shawls, shrugs and boleros.

Recycled Sari Silk – 90m per 100g Aran weight
Made from leftovers of the sari making process. The fibres are picked over and short lengths discarded. It is hand spun on a wheel, and is a smooth, consistent and non- shredding Aran weight yarn.
Ideas: hats, scarves, bags

Fancy putting your designs and Fibres Exotica’s yarns together?
Contact Nikki at

2 Responses to “Calling all designers: make patterns for a new yarn company”

  1. pip said

    those yarns look beautiful… such lovely colours!

  2. […] I did a call-out piece with Stitch London 10 days ago and I’m now happily inundated with people like me; people […]

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