When it comes to unwanted knitwear, there are two ways you can recycle a garment. For home use, the most practical way would be to unravel the existing garment and wind a new ball of yarn. See How to Recycle Yarn from a Thrift-Store Sweater for hints and tips if you’re keen to try this yourself.
As discussed previously, there are no commercial yarn spinners in Australia producing the quality and quantity of yarn required for commercial garment manufacturing, so in this case Interknit imports our recycled yarns from our neighbour, New Zealand.
For commercial use, the large load of unwanted woollen garments will be sorted by colour and then reprocessed into a new yarn at a commercial wool spinning plant. The process will clean the existing yarns and reduce them to fibres before spinning them onto cones and boxing them up in their new colours. It also blends so many different shades of a colour together that you end up with a lovely melange colour effect on the finished garment with little flecks of difference.
The recycling process uses shorter fibres to spin into a yarn which gives the end product that ‘scratchy’ feeling far removed from the smooth finish of our Ballarat Gold garments. Our recycled yarns are used purely for our OUTDOOR range of jumpers – designed to be worn over your long sleeved under-layers and therefore negating any scratchiness on your skin factors. In fact, our OUTDOOR jumpers are so warm, you would be uncomfortable wearing them indoors! The recycled yarns are durable; warm; flame-resistant and designed with a tight knit to provide superior wind resistance.
We pre-shrink the knitted pieces on a steam press before cutting the jumper pattern and we also pre-wash every single OUTDOOR jumper before it’s tagged for sale. This creates an end product that won’t shrink on the first wash and you can pop it in your washing machine after a day of heavy use on the farm; in the garden or out in the shed.
Designed by Australians, for Australians, we know everyone isn’t the same size and shape. We can knit our OUTDOOR jumpers up to a 7XL and one of our designs, 6034, is made with extra length and no waistband for those with taller torsos. While the OUTDOOR jumpers have been created for our menswear range, the vee-neck and zipper styles are particularly flattering on women. For those needing even more warmth, some of our styles are in a fisherman’s rib knit which is a very tight thick knit for extra warmth and durability. The very best part about our OUTDOOR jumpers is that they are made locally in our Ballarat factory by hardworking Australians.