The name “Opal” is inspired by the Latin word Opalus – “precious stone”.
All of Opal’s yarn is produced at a single site in Hechingen, Germany using sustainable practices. The company ethos is “healthy clothing, healthy people, healthy environment” and they live up to this through every stage of producing the beautiful yarns we love here at Tiger Lily Crafts. Every ball produced reaches the OEKO-Tex standard.
Opal yarn is made using wool only from Germany and South America and guaranteed to be mulesing free. To achieve the fantastic colours, the different colours of dye are applied one at a time and then hot steam is used to make it colourfast. Using custom-built machines, colours are printed on the running thread instead of the skein, giving Opal’s yarn its unique, colourful designs. One last wash ensures that the dyes won’t run when you first wash your finished projects. By blending 75% virgin wool black and 25% polyamide a particularly robust, durable yarn is created.
Two collections stand out as being absolutely phenomenal: Viridian Schafpate and Hundertwasser.
Schafpate yarn is created using wool from sheep sponsored by Viridian Distrubution. The Schafpate project started in 2008 with the aim of improving the wool trade at every step of the production journey; from sheep to yarn. Patrons can sponsor a sheep for an annual fee of €60 and €25 of this goes into a fund to aid the sheep farmers. This ensures the enduring of the unique landscape of Wacholderheide on the Swabian Alb (a mountain range in Germany) which supports the continuation of the migratory sheep.
The quality of the wool from the German Merinoland is increased by the ability of the farmers to buy suitable breeding stock. With the increased quality of wool, the sheep farmers can also earn more money. Opal purchases this wool and processes it into Opal wool which maintains the unique quality of this spectacular yarn.
So, this wonderful sponsor scheme provides jobs, improved living for the sheep farmers as well as environmental and nature conservation. An added bonus for the sponsors is that they can visit the Smietana family farm annually which is where the sheep are looked after.
The Hundertwasser collection is inspired by the works of artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and is sustainably produced in Swabia at the foot of Hohenzollern Castle. The colourful variations make it a fun yarn to knit and crochet with. Stunning, bright colours knit into a funky finish with odd socks (one horizontal stripes, the other vertical); making a perfect gift for that someone who loves something unusual.
Opal sweater and sock wool is pure knitting pleasure, true to the motto “entangle the senses”.
This is why we choose opal!
Special thanks to Margaret McLean for helping compile and edit this blog!