The wholesale price of Merino and Alpaca has gone up significantly over the last number of months. This may be good news for graziers but it is less wonderful for end users such as yarn makers, yarn shop owners and customers.
There are two main reasons for the increased cost:
- Production output is lower due to higher temperatures and drought in major Merino and alpaca producing countries including Australia, where many Merino producers have had to decrease stock levels to cope with the impact of the ongoing drought. Current climate forecasts predict an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, drought events and a more volatile rainfall pattern, all of which will impact on fibre production in the longer term as well.
- Demand for high quality fibres including Merino and Alpaca has increased substantially with higher demand coming from high end fashion producers in China and India. As a result, the volume of Merino and Alpaca fibres available to the knitting yarn market has decreased.
The combination of lower supply and higher demand has resulted in significant price rises for yarns that include Merino and Alpaca.
What does that mean for you?
At I Wool Knit we pride ourselves for offering fair prices for quality yarns.
Unfortunately, we are not able to absorb the price increases we now face when buying our yarns from our suppliers. You will notice that some yarns will start becoming more expensive over the next few months.
We will begin raising our prices when replacing existing stock with new stock that we had to buy at higher prices from our suppliers. That way you will still be able to pay the same price for existing stock until our new supply comes in. We believe this is a fair way to deal with this issue.
Thankfully, we have not yet seen price increases for other wool fibres, so we expect prices for wool products that do not include Merino and/or Alpaca to remain stable into the foreseeable future.
At the same time, we are also keenly aware that while working with natural fibres is preferable to using acrylic yarns, not everybody can afford to use very expensive yarns. Knitting and crochet should not be a niche activity for the wealthy, but something that should be available to all who enjoy being creative.
We would be very interested to hear your opinions on whether we should increase our range of fibre blends that include acrylics?