Yarn, coffee, and wool

What is Speciality Coffee?

Coffee can be divided into Speciality Coffee and Commercial Coffee. The division between the two is based on various factors that result in the difference of the quality between the two; where Speciality Coffee is superior to commercial.

Today with the third-wave scene in which the consumer is more informed, Speciality Coffee consumption has flourished. It is reported that “Daily consumption of speciality coffee in America has risen from 9% in 1999 to 34% in 2014”. This rise in speciality coffee consumption led to high market chains like Starbucks and Costa to jump on the bandwagon and raise the quality of their coffee beans.

The division of coffee into Speciality and Commercial coffee is based on a graded 100-point scale where Speciality Coffee represents the coffee graded from 80 to 100. Speciality Coffee can be further divided where beans above 90 have come to be known as “90 plus” (not to be confused with the name of a coffee producer). This category is usually ‘out of this world’ in terms of taste. They have seen exceptional care from producer to the roaster. They are more expensive but worth it.

What does this have to do with yarn?

The yarn world is exactly similar. There are three categories of yarn that are known to knitters and crocheters. The first category is the cheap yarn that is mass produced by one single manufacturer but under different brands or by markets with cheap labour such as China and Turkey. This category is on par with commercial coffee.

The second category includes well-known brands that sell yarn which is a bit more expensive and have much better quality than the commercial yarn. They cost more because of the economics of the yarn market. They do have quality control and are produced with better marketing effort. This category is probably the one mostly used in Kuwait. If a crafter is working on something special than it is this category that is used. Brands such as DMC, Debbie Bliss, and Rowan fall under this category. Yarn made by these company can be seen as start point of Speciality Coffee.

The final category or the “90 plus” category  contains the yarn that is exceptional. These are harder to find. They are not mass produced. They are usually hand-spun and hand dyed. They are distributed either in online shops or local independent shops. You will not find them in John Lewis or in Liberty (London shops).

What does all of this have to do with the blog?

This blog will introduce this exceptional yarn category. The blog will also help in explaining why they are appreciated. As they stand, a crafter might not appreciate them, but with a certain mentality these yarn will be better acknowledged.

Using coffee as an analogy; a regular Speciality Coffee customer won’t appreciate “90 plus” coffee since in few instances it will be very similar to regular speciality coffee. However, if the customer is educated on the economics and production of coffee then appreciating a “90 plus” coffee cup is definite.

Therefore, topics on wool manufacturing and its history will be discussed in this blog. The blog will also shed light at yarn projects and crafters. The appreciation of the category of yarn is a state of mind that is part of a lifestyle. This blog will be showcasing such a lifestyle, from talking about restaurants and hotels that elevate a person’s art knowledge to science topics that can be used to reach the “90 plus” state of mind.

And the story begins….

(Note that some posts will be in Arabic and some will be in English.)