Whether animal, plant or manmade, the exotic fibres open the world to new and interesting spinning adventures. Some of them are great all on their own and others are more suitable for blending.
Dyers will find some interesting fibres here as well, ones that can be used with acid dyes in fibre blends to all sorts of interesting effect, even if they don’t actually strike with the dyes. If you’ve not yet tried fibre reactive dyes, they will be the key to dyeing bamboo, ramie, Tencel®, SeaCell and other cellulose fibres.

Some of our “exotics” are rather mundane — nylon for instance — but they seem to fit in best here as a catchall category. You’ll find some of the luxury exotics such as Qiviut and bison listed under Fibre> Natural Rovings & Top> Blends.

We’ve tried to describe the exotics here, but for more information may be found in “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” (under More> Books> Fibre Prep).

Quick Metric Conversion:
1 oz = 28.35g, 2 oz = 56.7g, 4 oz = 113.4g, 8 oz = 226.8g, 1 Lb = 453.59g

Angora, Super-soft White
Angora, Super-soft White
100% Angora rabbit.  Very fine and clean combed top, a lovely creamy-white shade. With a micron count of 11 to 13 this is amazingly soft. Staple length 2.5 inches. From Ashland Bay. Angora is from bunnies, and is considered to be a superb luxury fibre. It's usually blended with a fine wool or other fine fibre. By itself, angora is extremely warm, eight times warmer than wool. Felting properties are good. PRODUCT of CHINA
$17.50$71.51 Select options
Bamboo (Top)
Bamboo (Top)
100% Viscose of Bamboo. Very clean combed top, pearly-white in colour. Staple length is 3.5 to 4 inches. PRODUCT of CHINA
$3.75$28.94 Select options
Bamboo Bast (Top)
Bamboo Bast (Top)
100% Bamboo bast fibre. Clean and tidy combed top. This type of Bamboo comes from the stem fibres, produced in a way similar to flax or hemp. It's different from the more common viscose or rayon type of Bamboo. To our hands it feels finer than hemp or flax, more akin to Ramie. The natural colour is ivory-cream, with a medium lustre. Staple length is around 4 to 5 inches. PRODUCT of CHINA
$7.25$55.96 Select options
Camel, Baby – Soft Fawn (Top)
Camel, Baby – Soft Fawn (Top)
100% Baby Camel. Lovely and clean combed top. A very special lot of camel from the Alashan Plateau of Mongolia and China. The soft fawn colour and 17.7 micron fibre diameter make for a truly luxurious spin. Staple length is around 2 inches. From Ashland Bay. PRODUCT of CHINA
$16.00$65.38 Select options
Cashmere – Cream Mongolian (Top)
Cashmere – Cream Mongolian (Top)
100% Cashmere. Fine combed top, very clean. Staple length about 2 inches, the colour is ivory-cream (not as white as our photo). Lovely and super-soft at 16 microns. One of the most luxurious and soft fibres, from the cashmere goat. Not for beginning spinners because of the short staple, but one to aspire towards. Absolutely awesome in blends with fine wools and all sorts of other stuff. PRODUCT of MONGOLIA
$16.63$135.96 Select options
Corn Fibre (Top)
Corn Fibre (Top)
100% Corn Fibre. Also known as Ingeo. Extremely clean combed top. Pristine, true white in colour. Staple length is 4 to 5 inches. One of the "new" man-made fibres, and apparently it stands up pretty well to any "green" claims about its manufacture. As a spinning or knitting fibre, it is soft and lustrous, breathes and absorbs moisture well, has good drape and warmth and is easy to care for. Corn is machine washable but should be air or tumble dried only. Do not iron! Considered a plant or cellulose fibre but neither acid nor fibre reactive dyes will work on corn fibre. Natural dyers could try using techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We do not know yet how corn behaves in an indigo bath. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the corn alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$7.00$54.03 Select options
Flax Top – Bleached
Flax Top – Bleached
100% Flax (linen) fibre. Very clean combed top in a fairly narrow sliver, bleached to a bright ivory white. Staple length is 5 to 6 inches. This may be a good choice for those curious to try spinning flax for the first time. Our supplier suggests it can be either dry or wet-spun and no distaff is needed since it's already in a well-prepared form. It feels pretty soft for flax. Anybody up for the challenge? The various dyed colourways we carry begin with bleached flax, since it provides a good white base that won't lend the brown or tan tones that natural flax would give. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers must resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. Flax strikes just fine in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the flax alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended. PRODUCT of ITALY
$4.50$34.73 Select options
Flax Top – Natural Brown
Flax Top – Natural Brown
100% Flax Natural coloured (not bleached) flax top which we get from Italy but it probably originates somewhere in Eastern Europe. Staple length about 5 to 6 inches, and a nice fine-quality fibre. This is the same flax we offer as dyed colourways, before it's been bleached and then dyed. PRODUCT of ITALY
$4.00$30.87 Select options
Hemp @ The Fibre Garden
Hemp – Natural Brown (Top)
100% Hemp. This is beautiful stuff, the finest hemp we have ever seen and a local lady with a lot of experience spinning hemp tried it and agrees! Very clean combed top, in a natural tan colour. Staple length is 6 to 7 inches. Hemp is a bast (stem) fibre from a very tall plant, essentially a strain of marijuana developed for fibre instead of other uses. Spun in a manner much like flax, the two also share the attribute of being harsh at first and just getting better and better over time with wear and laundering. It can be spun all by itself or blended with wool and other fibres. This has a light characteristic hemp scent but it's not overwhelming and should not be offensive to the nose during spinning. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers must resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. Hemp also works well in an indigo vat. PRODUCT of CHINA
$6.75$52.10 Select options
Milk Protein (Top)
Milk Protein (Top)
100% Milk Protein Fibre. Also known as Latte. Extremely clean combed top in natural ivory-cream. Staple length is about 4 inches. One of the "new" man-made fibres, with a manufacturing process very similar to soy fibre. Said to be even softer than soy, and with good lustre. We can't find much for references to describe the drape in finished garments but we are guessing it's probably excellent. Considered a protein fibre, so acid dyes will work very nicely. Probably so will natural dyes with the usual protein-fibre premordanting methods. Somebody told us that if you take the dyebath temperatures too close to boiling, this fibre will dissolve. Urban myth? You tell us!
$7.00$14.00 Select options
Nylon – Fake Cashmere (Top)
Nylon – Fake Cashmere (Top)
100% Nylon. Extremely clean combed top, possibly the whitest fibre we carry. Staple length is about 3 to 4 inches which makes this top-notch for blending with almost anything. Few would spin Nylon all by itself, but it has a great reputation for adding strength and durability to other fibres, especially when spinning yarns for socks. This is a fine grade that you won't even notice when blended in at a rate of 20 to 25% or so, by weight. Surprisingly, Nylon dyes beautifully with acid dyes. It also takes natural dyes well using the usual premordant methods for protein fibres. We love the moniker of "Fake Cashmere", but your fingers will never confuse it from the real thing. It feels more like those puffs they stick inside pill bottles. Maybe it is.
$3.50$27.00 Select options
Ramie @ The Fibre Garden
Ramie (Top)
100% Ramie. Very clean combed top, in pencil-roving width. Staple length is 7 to 8 inches. Ramie comes from the stem (bast) fibre of a tropical plant. Typically it is bleached to an almost pure white. Our supply is very fine and soft. Ramie can be spun by itself or used in blends. It's well-suited for lighter summer wear, from against-the-skin to outerwear. An intriguing fibre for those that can't wear wool. < Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how Ramie responds in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the ramie alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$6.00$46.31 Select options
Soy Fibre – Bleached (Top)
Soy Fibre – Bleached (Top)
100% Soy Fibre. 100% Soy Fibre. Extremely clean combed top in "natural" ivory. Staple length of 4 to 5 inches. SoySilk® is a registered trademark, but our supply is a very similar product from another manufacturer. It turns out that what we have been selling for years is the bleached version of soy fibre. Lustrous and soft, soy fibre is enjoying great popularity by itself or in blends with wool and other fibres. Very well-suited to summer wear since it's great at absorbing moisture. Soy fibre is manufactured from the waste pulp that remains after soybeans have been pressed for oil. Surprisingly, though it comes from plants, soy fibre has more in common with protein fibres in the dyepot. It takes colour beautifully using acid dyes and will respond well to the usual natural dye premordants that are used on animal fibres.
$4.25$32.80 Select options
Sparkle-On Natural Snow
Sparkle-On Natural Snow
100% trilobal Nylon. We also label this as Sparkling White Icicle. Extremely clean combed top, and very white but with a wonderful reflective sparkle. Staple length is about 3 to 4 inches, the fibre very fine. Absolutely wonderful for adding some glitter to any spin, and also a favourite of felters. Trilobal nylon is triangular in cross-section, rather than round. These flat surfaces are what cause it to reflect light and appear to sparkle. It is sold under various brand names, including Firestar™. Though it works nicely in "natural" white, this dyes beautifully with acid dyes. In blends this is carded at around 5 to 20% by weight, and just a little bit does the trick. Our "Sparkle-On™ Natural Snow" and "Nylon - Sparkling White Icicle" are cross-listed here together. The only difference is the size of the bags offered. PRODUCT of ITALY
$2.50$27.00 Select options
Tencel (Top)
Tencel (Top)
100% Lyocell. Very clean combed top, in "natural" white. Staple length is about 4 inches. Technically this manmade fibre is called lyocell. It's in the rayon family and made from wood pulp. Tencel® has been embraced by spinners and knitters alike, because it is fantastically soft with a terrific sheen and wonderful drape. Excellent for lighter summerwear as it absorbs moisture well. Tencel® can be spun alone or blended with other fibres. An intriguing choice for those that can't wear wool. < Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how Tencel® responds in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the Tencel® alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$4.50$34.73 Select options
Viscose – Bright (Top)
Viscose – Bright (Top)
100% Viscose Rayon. Extremely clean combed top. Lustrous white, with a staple length of 5 to 6 inches. Viscose is a type of rayon, and considered to be the very first successful manmade fibre after numerous attempts to create artificial silk. It is manufactured from wood pulp. Take advantage of the lovely sheen and soft handle to use this in blends for summer garments. Since this is a plant or cellulose fibre dyers must use fibre reactive dyes. Natural dyers can resort to techniques used on cotton, such as alum-tannin premordanting, or Aluminum acetate. We don't know how viscose responds in an indigo vat. That being said, when blended with protein fibres, acid dyes will leave the viscose alone during dyeing, which makes for some wonderful streaky or heathered effects, depending on how well the fibres are blended.
$3.50$27.00 Select options
Yak, Cream (Top)
Yak, Cream (Top)
100% Yak. Fine combed top, very clean. Staple length about 1 inch, in a creamy-white tone. Yak is a tricky fibre to spin by itself, because it's so short. It makes up for this by being super soft and warm. Consider blending with a fine wool, such as Merino. We can't seem to find information about the felting properties. Micron count approximately 21. White Yak is not a naturally-occuring colour, and is made from brown that has been depigmented. PRODUCT of CHINA
$13.50$55.16 Select options
Yak, Dark Brown
Yak, Dark Brown
100% Yak. Fine combed top, very clean. Staple length is just over 1 inch, in a deep chocolate-brown tone. Micron count is about 19. Yak is a tricky fibre to spin by itself, because it's so short. It makes up for this by being super soft and warm. Consider blending with a fine wool, such as Merino. We can't seem to find information about the felting properties. PRODUCT of CHINA
$13.50$55.16 Select options