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April 23, 2021 2 min read

Today we’d like to feature a unique supplier here at Darn Yarn: Trailhead Yarns. Based in Casselman, Ontario, and specializing in wool-free yarns, Trailhead has a gorgeous selection of colourways, dyed on 100% vegan bases. Read on to learn more about this innovative supplier.

A skein of hand-dyed Trailhead yarn in dark blue, bright green, pink, and purple.

Trailhead Yarns: the history

Samantha Van Noy, the maker behind Trailhead Yarns, has been crocheting since she was 5 years old and knitting since she was 6. “My grandmother taught me the basics but after that I just kept learning.” In college, she taught herself hand-spinning with the help of some YouTube videos, and later learned to weave.

Samantha started her company in 2013, dyeing 100% Canadian wool yarns. She worked with incredible Canadian mills that focused on a low environmental impact. However, in 2016 a life-threatening wool allergy stopped her in her tracks and caused her to change her focus—with inspiring results.

had me planning to leave the industry until I noticed I couldn’t find the beautiful hand-dyed yarns that I was used to in a wool free version. I made it my mission to create beautiful yarn for everyone. 

 

A selection of Trailhead Yarns mini skein packs in a variety of colours.

 

Not Your Grandmother’s Cotton Yarn

Samantha’s experience with weaving and spinning in college helped make her vision a reality, giving her a unique insight into the ideal properties of the yarns she wanted to create:

Two of our bases are custom spun to our specifications, and years of knitting and spinning helped us form the perfect cotton-based yarns, which act more like wool than your grandmother’s cotton yarn.

Vegan and Environmentally Friendly

Trailhead yarns are made from plant-based fibres, including cotton, linen, and Tencel. Their mission is to be a source for gorgeous, hand-dyed yarns for anyone who:

  • has wool allergies
  • lives in a warmer climate in which wool may not be the ideal choice
  • wants the convenience of wash-and-wear yarns
  • is simply looking for a vegan option

They take pride in being a sustainable, low-environmental-impact supplier:

Our packaging is without plastic, and always minimalist. In the studio, we aim to use materials that are recyclable and biodegradable. We also put some focus on reducing our use of energy and water. 

A soft blue skein of yarn with a hint of pink

Natural inspiration

Trailhead’s colourways are inspired by the natural scenery of the Cabot Trail here in Nova Scotia, which is where Samantha lived when she first began hand-dyeing yarns.

I was inspired by how different the sky looked every day but how it was always beautiful. Nature has always played a big part in my life and it still does in the colours I develop. I describe our colourways as interesting neutrals and fun brights.

What’s next for Samantha and Trailhead Yarns? Lots of things, including a 2021 Naughty or Nice Calendar (we can’t wait to learn more!) and eventually, a commercial studio building including a storefront. Wherever the future takes Trailhead, we know it’ll be amazing.

You can find our selection of Trailhead Yarns here.