West Yorkshire Spinners produce some of our favourite yarns. They're always high quality; offering a perfect balance of luxury, practicality and value. The yarns are almost entirely sourced, and produced in the UK, often locally to their mill in Keighley. It’s clear to us that the brand understand what knitters are looking for when choosing a yarn! We wanted to share more about the company and what they do so well.
West Yorkshire Spinner’s History
West Yorkshire Spinners was founded in 1997 as a worsted spinning company in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. The family-run business started out by commission-spinning hand knitting yarns for other brands. They successfully grew their business, moving several times within the Keighley area, and then in 2012 they launched a yarn brand of their own. Over the years they have grown from producing just a Bluefaced Leicester DK yarn, to the extensive range that they now offer.
The Spinning Process
Every yarn in the West Yorkshire Spinners range is carefully produced within a 40 mile radius of the main spinning factory. The British sheep’s fleeces are sent to Bradford to be scoured, carded and combed before they arrive at the WYS mill. At the mill the wool is processed by drawing; this straightens the fibres so that they are parallel and even. Then comes the spinning! After the yarn is spun to its desired thickness it is wound onto cones and then folded, which involves twisting the single spun yarns together to make the final yarn. The next stage is dyeing, which is also done in the WYS factory using their specialised and environmentally conscious machines. Finally the yarn is finished, wound into balls or hanks, labelled and packed, ready for us to work with!
The fact that West Yorkshire Spinners complete so many of the yarn production steps themselves means that their core values are upheld at every stage. The company prioritises quality, efficiency and innovation. In doing so they also benefit the environment by reducing their carbon footprint and by investing in efficient machinery.
As much as we love supporting British farming and manufacturing, we are also heavily guided by the final product. We want to stock yarns that we know our customers will love! West Yorkshire Spinners has become a trusted brand for us. Not only do they have all the technical knowledge and experience to produce a well-made yarn, they also have a good understanding of what knitters and crocheters want from a yarn. They know exactly how fussy we can, quite rightly, be! Making a knitted or crocheted item is a great time investment, and of course we want our valuable time and skills to be respected. WYS yarns offer just the right balance of practicality and luxury, and we can recommend one of their yarns for pretty much any type of project!
- For gorgeous socks: Signature 4ply
- The ideal baby yarn: Bo Peep
- Fun with vivid colours: ColourLab
- Natural and great value: Jacobs
- The perfect all-rounder: The Croft
- Soft, springy and stunning: Fleece
- Something cosy and chunky: Re:Treat
In addition, West Yorkshire Spinners produce their own patterns to compliment their yarns. They work with well-established and respected designers such as Sarah Hatton, Jenny Watson and Emma Wright, and have also recently worked with the blogger Winwick Mum, and the fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. Their pattern range covers garments and accessories for everybody, all beautifully photographed and presented in practical spiral-bound books.
West Yorkshire Spinners Brand
It's easy to see why West Yorkshire Spinners has become such a favourite in the shop. We're sometimes surprised by the relatively young age of the brand! Their association with heritage and tradition, the quantity of yarns they offer and their general ability to get things right, makes the brand seem so well established.
We hope they keep on offering us wonderful yarns and inspiring us for many more years to come!