Long before most companies had mission statements, Noro Yarn's founder, Eisaku Noro, chose those words to capture his vision: I was born and grew up in a place where more great unspoiled nature is left than anywhere else in Japan, so the world of nature is always close. Whether I am aware of it or not, I am inspired by it in many ways.
Indeed, Noro yarns are known for their vivid hues and unique combinations of colors found in the natural world (think of the red leaves of maples or the cerulean blue of the sky). Noro's insistence on maintaining the integrity of the dyeing process—taking sufficient time to apply color is crucial—creates these rich, complex hues while reducing ecological impact.
Noro's reliance on natural fibers is another link to the natural world. Chock full of wool, silk, mohair and other fibers drawn from animals and plants, Noro yarns have a visceral connection to the natural world.All animal fibers used to create Noro yarns come from certified organic farms. Noro himself personally maintains the integrity of the production process, visiting farms, checking the type of equipment used to spin the fiber, and monitoring the dyeing process as well.
One of the most prominent qualities of Noro yarn is its handspun, loosely processed quality. This, too, is an essential part of Noro's vision of creating yarns that remain true to their natural heritage. Keeping processing to a minimum and eschewing the use of harsh chemical treatments is critical to this vision. Minimizing the amount of machine handling also preserves the original qualities of the fibers. Noro uses only one roller on the carding machine instead of the usual three, uses a shorter bed, and gently hand feeds fiber into the carder. The yarns receive less twist in the spinning process, which creates the variances in thickness along the length of the yarn.
Occasionally, those new to Noro yarns are unfamiliar with their unique texture and unprocessed hand. Don't be put off by these qualities. Variations and slight unevenness in the yarn's texture is not a mistake but rather a deliberate choice so that knitters may feel closer to nature. Indeed, this willingness to embrace the imperfections and variations is a hallmark of Noro yarns.