About us

We are a family owned yarn company located in Uruguay and we have developed a line of Hand-Dyed yarns of incredible softness and wonderful color variations. Our products are made out of the softest fibers available and inspired by nature, landscapes, places, art and everyday life. And that is what we try to represent in the names of our 18 different yarns and more than 300 colors.

We produce yarn because we are passionate about it. We believe in the pleasure of knitting with good-quality, carefully designed, subtly painted yarns and in the joy of wearing whatever is made out of them.

Our wish is to continue developing yarns and colors to inspire people around the world, and to be inspired by them in return.

History

malabrigo started small, when two brothers-in-law started dyeing wool in a kitchen back in 2005. After achieving some good results, they started selling a few skeins to the US and before they knew they had quickly grown to other countries in Europe and the rest of the world. To keep up with this growth, they needed to relocate to larger facilities and hire more employees.

This resulted in malabrigo’s mill which is located at Parque Tecnológico Industrial del Cerro, a Technology and Industry Park in Montevideo, Uruguay, where yarns are dyed and packed in large rooms with natural light.

In 2010 the factory added a flat-plate thermal heating system to decrease the environmental footprint. Using the power of the sun, the water tanks are heated for the various processes to make your favorite yarns. The company employs environmentally safe practices using as little water and as few chemicals as possible.

More recently the company added a new mill in Perú.

malabrigo employs mostly women of all ages, and always tries to give job opportunities to people that have fewer opportunities than the average.

Fibers

Most of malabrigo yarns are made with 100% Uruguayan Merino wool. Uruguay has one of the biggest wool supplies in the world, and a very, very good wool with regards to softness.

Our wool is 100% produced by uruguayan farms that allow their sheep to go free-range through the hills and are herded by actual old-style shepherds. The controversial practice of mulesing does not exist in Uruguay.

Some of our yarns use other fibers, such Silky Merino (a blend of our Merino and top-quality Silk), Mora (100% Mulberry Silk) and Silkpaca (Baby Alpaca from Perú and top-quality Silk). We always ensure that our materials come from the best suppliers we can find around the world.

malabrigo flock

We are pleased to announce that Malabrigo is the proud owner of a flock of Merino and Corriedale sheep, who live on a ranch near our headquarters in Montevideo. Taking this step has been very important to us- we strive for sustainability and quality in all aspects of our business, and now we are able to have a direct hand in wool production from the very first step, and to ensure the humane, high-quality care of our happy little sheep. True, this flock isn't enough to produce all of our yarn by a long shot- but they're awfully cute. Welcome to the family, little guys! Should you happen to be in the Montevideo area, we invite you to visit our little sheepfold and say hello to the flock! 

In the following video we show you around beautiful Piedras de Afilar and demonstrate the process by which we shear our sheep and harvest the beautiful fleece that becomes Malabrigo yarn. We strive to use sustainable and humane farming practices with our ranch and flock – a happy sheep makes the best wool!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MogPKXf5-Lk

Also, in August and September is a special time for the Malabrigo flock at La Serena: it's lambing time! Many members of our pasture-raised flock have recently given birth, and we want to share this beautiful experience with you. Having a quiet walk in the lambing paddock is probably one of the most rewarding part of raising sheep!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiLge6XAytk

Our Commitment to Sustainability

As part of our ongoing effort to build a greener business, our Superwash manufacturing process now meets Oeko-Tex standards. This means our yarn is free from a range of harmful substances often found in manufacturing (such as formaldehyde, pesticides, heavy metals, and a variety of other toxins and carcinogens.)  Our superwash process uses a very thin, very diluted coating of resin (which covers only .00002mm around the wool fibers.) This resin is the same material used in the manufacture of facial tissues and kitchen paper.

In 2010 the factory added a flat-plate thermal heating system to decrease the environmental footprint. Using the power of the sun, the water tanks are heated for the various processes to make malabrigo yarns. The company employs environmentally safe practices using as little water and as few chemicals as possible. All of our colorants also meet Oeko-Tex and 1907/2006 CE standards, which means we use none of the prohibited chemicals.

FAQs

Answers to the questions we are more usually asked

Any other inquiry write to info@malabrigo.com whatever your language is!

  • How did you get the name ?malabrigo??

    “Mal abrigo” translates roughly to “bad shelter”, a curious name for a yarn company indeed.

    The name comes in part from the village of Mal Abrigo in Uruguay. There are several towns of that name in South America (in other countries) but that was the one we had in mind. It is called that because it is extremely windy and back when people rode horses and needed to take shelter for the night, it was known for being a terrible place to stop.

    But we were also inspired by novelists like Garcia Marquez, Juan Carlos Onetti, and William Faulkner, who set their novels in imaginary towns (Macondo, Santa Maria, and the towns in Yoknapatawpha County, respectively!) In our minds, malabrigo is an imaginary and chilly place where the weather drives everyone inside to knit, and cozy wool sweaters, hats, and scarves are always useful!

  • How do I pronounce "malabrigo"?

    maul ah-bree’ -go’

  • Where do you produce your yarn?

    We get all the Wool we use from Uruguayan suppliers, all the Alpaca from Perú and all the Silk from Italian suppliers. Spinning is made both in Uruguay and Perú. Some of our yarns are dyed, classified and tagged only in Uruguay, some only in Perú and some in both places.

  • Are the colors of the yarn in your photos accurate?

    We work hard to obtain the most accurate colors in the photographs we show on the website. However, every computer has different monitor settings. For this reason we cannot ensure that the colors all monitors display will exactly match the color of the yarn.

  • Will my skeins match?

    As malabrigo’s yarns are Hand-Dyed, colors may vary from skein to skein, even within the same dye lot. This is increases in variegated colors. Make sure to get enough yarn for your project and to check if the skeins you are buying visually match. To ensure random color distribution, you can alternate a few rows from different skeins while knitting.

  • Will my yarn bleed?

    Although bleeding is not usual, it can be caused by one of two things: excess dye, which is more typical of dark, saturated colors, or dye not being set properly. To avoid bleeding soak in water with 1/4 cup of white vinegar for at least 30 minutes, as many times as necessary, until it stops bleeding. Do the process before knitting for colorwork projects.

  • Care Instructions

    You can read our recommended care instructions for every yarn on the Yarns page (link), or on your yarn label.

    Also you can download our YARNS INFO DOCUMENT (pdf link to download) You can also find great advice from experienced malabrigo customers in Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/groups/malabrigo-junkies/pages/FAQ-General-Frequently-Asked-Questions