fake sheep

a website about vegan knitting

banana silk yarn!

i’m going to sydney next month for work, and was thinking about the potential for yarn shop exploration, when i suddenly thought that maybe someone in sydney would stock soy silk!. so i checked their website, and had a look at some websites for australian stockists of southwest trading company yarns (none of which are in sydney), and clicked over to their new zealand listing as an afterthought, only to discover a new shop on their list!

yarn traders doesn’t stock soy silk and bamboo yet, but apparently will do soon. what they do have is BANANA SILK. it’s made from banana fibres and is hand spun and dyed in nepal, and it looks amazing. i just ordered a couple of skeins to see what it’s like. wow.

(if anyone does have any good sydney yarn shop suggestions, please comment!)


  Tinsley wrote @

No! I don’t want you to go away! Who will give me table scraps and those wonderful slowly-waking-up-in-the-morning cuddles?!??!

  moira wrote @

awww puppy. it’s only for a few days. your boy human will take care of you.

p.s. you’re pretty smart, with your internet using skills! maybe you should update your website?

  Atouria wrote @

Banana silk!?! How exciting! I can’t wait to hear how it knits up. Is it made by SWTC? I wonder if it’s available in the states.

  moira wrote @

no, it’s not made by SWTC, it’s handmade in nepal. there’s more about it on yarn traders’ website, here:


& i was googling it this morning, and this page about banana yarn (from an american site) looks like it’s talking about the same stuff:

(yarn traders ships internationally too – and prices are in NZ dollars, so would be less in US dollars…)

  Anna wrote @

Wow, I’d love to try some of that banana yarn! Is it available online or just in that shop? NZ is a bit far for me to travel! lol

I’m using the Bamboo yarn at the moment and it’s nice, lovely colours, but it’s a bit rough, not sure I’d want a whole garment made from it (I’m making a scarf).


  moira wrote @

anna, yarn traders is an online shop! they only sell through the internet, and they ship internationally. check out their website for postage rates and stuff.

that’s interesting, about the bamboo yarn. i’ve seen pictures of a couple of finished “ballerina” tops made from it (apparently a pattern you get free from some yarn shops when you buy bamboo yarn) and it looks amazing, but might need to be worn with something underneath?.

  Missy wrote @

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. The denim-style cotton yarn is a brand called Aunt Lydia’s “Denim” Quick Crochet. On inspecting the label, it’s actually 75% cotton and 25% acrylic.

The soy silk yarn sounds lovely! I’d love to see (and touch) some – maybe I will some day! I’ve seen some hemp yarn before, but none of the other cool plant fibre yarns like bamboo or soy, and certainly not banana! How cool. I’d definitely support the production of any renewable material that uses less pesticides in its production (because, let’s face it, there are environmental concerns with all three yarn standards – wool, cotton, and acrylic). I like how you’re seeking out these great aternative yarns. Keep up the good work!

  robyn wrote @

I just found your site and it is great. I am so excited that there is another vegan knitter out there on the other side of the world. I ordered some banana silk yarn a few weeks ago to make clapotis from knitty, I’ll post the final results on my blog. If you are interested I would love to do a vegan yarn swap, I have access to oddles of soysilk, bamboo, and ingeo on this side of the globe and I would live to trade for some exotic NZ yarns. Email me if you are interested.

  jen wrote @

thanks for the tip on banana fiber yarn. i had never even heard of that before.

i love your blog by the way, i always tell other vegan knitters about it. as a new knitter/long time vegan, you’ve really been an inspiration to me and your site has been a huge help.

  Sue wrote @

We just ordered the Banana Silk yarn and we are located in the U.S.A.

  moira wrote @

missy, thanks for visiting mine!

i like the idea of plant yarn more than synthetics (though yeah, both have their pros and cons). i think i am deflecting the issue a little by mostly buying second hand yarn (old stuff from other people’s stashes) so it’s not like i’m directly supporting the industries, but environmental impact is an issue i’m thinking through. i’d really like to learn to spin cotton! i was reading about gandhi recently, and how at one point in his life, all of his followers had to spin a certain length of cotton yarn every day (partly as a statement about india’s self-sufficiency/ not needing to rely on imported cloth). it was really inspiring. and i’d like to learn more about spinning linen flax too. from what i’ve read about the banana yarn, it sounds like a similar process.

other people – thanks for commenting! i’ll reply to your comments soon, i’m just trying to catch up with a few things at once.

  moira wrote @

robyn – hi! nice to internet-meet you. there are actually 2 other vegan knitters at the stitch and bitch group i go to, and i’ve met a few others through this blog. we’re not so rare!

i was going to say that the banana yarn is probably a bit bulky for clapotis, but i noticed that you made the same comment on your blog. it would be nice as some kind of shawl though.

i would love to do a vegan yarn trade, but i can’t think of any “exotic nz yarns” that would interest you, unless you’re into possum fur? heh. i’ll have a think about it & email you, anyway.

thanks jen! i’m glad my site is useful. i have more ideas for it (vegan yarn reviews!) but don’t have as much time for it (or knitting!) as i’d like. but yay, i’m happy you like it.

& sure, i just made another post about banana yarn & included a link to your site.

  s rama krishnan wrote @


  Goats wrote @

Wow,that’s innovation. We carry the rest of the silks I can’t wait to get my fingers on that stuff!!

  Kathy wrote @

For those of you in the states, I’ve seen banana fiber for sale on ebay. I just got some, and i’m finding that it stains my fingers when I knit with it… ? I’m looking forward to washing it to see what happens then. Mine really isn’t rough, though. It is actually quite silky and thick.

  amy wrote @

i visited northern wisconsin this past weekend and picked up some banana fiber yarn at a farmer’s market. it’s so beautiful, but it does stain your fingers and it gets pretty weak at certain points. while spinning it into a ball it broke apart at two points…

  D.Sree Rama Raju wrote @

We are in the field of extracting Banana Fibre,if u have idea of using the waste generated after extracting fibre give details.We are also in search of making yarn from fibre if found any details we will give to you.

  ANAND.K wrote @

Dear’s we are under research in manufacturing BANANA YARN in very large quntity.We have found out a big potential market for that.If any have technical ideas please support as to make waste in to wealth.thanks a lot.From SouthIndia.

  moira wrote @

here is some information about the banana yarn manufacturing process: http://www.yarntraders.co.nz/bananayarninfo.asp

  Dipendra Pradhan wrote @


  Denise wrote @

Thank You for sharing your interest, experiments and experiences with us. Do you know of a similar site for hand loom weavers? And – is banana fibre available undyed? And! – if so, does it take to natural dyeing?
Thanking You,

  Anuradha wrote @

Presently I’m manufactureing cotton handloom and I’m ready to start a banana fiber fabric manufactureing project in Sri Lanka. If you are interest to join this ecological fabric manufacture project, Please contact me. Mobile : 094714812555 or Email : anuwpm@bellmail.lk

  Prabhu wrote @

Hi friends

I looking for a Banana silky fiber extraction machine. Any one knows about the extraction machine manufacturer pls inform me

with regards



  Dhaval Nawab wrote @


I would like to know about the full process to manufacture the banana yarn. Here in my city Bananas are grown in abundance and exported. It is easily possible for me to get the raw material. I would like to know about the process so that I can manufacture it in my place and can also invest some money for it. If it is possible please send me the details at my mail.

  vinod sancheti wrote @

Dear Sir,

We are interested in BANAN FIBER THREAD making machine.
So Please send the details for the same.Our mail no. vinod_3652003@yahoo.co.in
and also Banana silky fiber extraction machine. Any one knows about the extraction machine manufacturer pls inform meSEND SOME PHOTOS ABOUT BANANA FIBRE YARN MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Thanks & Regards

Vinod Sancheti

  Kathleen wrote @

Does anyone know of patterns designed for banana silk? I just acquired ten skeins in a luscious hot pink color and I’m not sure how to use them. I love working in unusual fibers and designed a fagulous shawl that I call my “Gypsy Shawl” out of recycled Tibetan silk. But so far no one I know has worked with banana silk and I am really eager to get started on it.


  chandra mouli wrote @

i well supply banana fiber pleese countet +919949197194 and +919848053103

  sureshkumar wrote @

Respected sir,

I planned to start Banana Fibre Extracting Unit in India ,Tamilnadu. Si i want to know How is Process,Marking,Extracting Machine etc

I request you to please sent the above mentioned details

Thaking You


P.Suresh Kumar

  tushar wrote @

i want machine parameter of banana fiber extraction machine, working process, and what developement to be perfomed in future. banana fiber chemical and physical properties.
please send me this information. thank you.

  moira wrote @

dear people who want to make or sell banana fibre: i’m sorry, i can’t help you, i only knit with the stuff. hopefully you can work it out amongst yourselves.

kathleen: i don’t know of any patterns specifically for banana silk. you might be able to modify patterns designed for recycled silk – i think there are a couple on knitty.com or try googling. good luck!

  sudesh rani wrote @

Respected sir,

i want to start a banana fibre extraction unit

cud u please help me in calculating the unit cost of a unit and inform me about the low cost machinery to extract banana fibre

iam from india

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