Introducing Beam ~ Now Open for Pre-Order
Beam ~ 3/2 Organic Cotton Yarn
Now open for pre-order, with expected yarn delivery in September 2020
After many months of planning and development, we are proud to be launching a new line of 3/2 un-mercerized organic cotton. Say hello to Beam.
Named for a ray of light, for the sturdiest parts of our homes, and for front and back beams that form the foundations of our looms.
Beam is grown in Texas, and spun and dyed in North Carolina. It is soft, sturdy, warp-friendly, and suitable for all types of looms, including rigid heddle. We hope Beam becomes a staple in your studio for many years to come.
1,260 yards per lb ~ 1/2 lb. cones ~ 630 yards ~ recommended sett of 10-16 epi ~ machine wash and dry
The color story for Beam came to life in the early days of quarantining for COVID-19, and evokes so much of what we are missing this spring and summer - music in the streets, bright and saturated colors, bustling farmers markets, easy hugs from neighbors.
We will launch Beam with 13 vibrant colors, and plan to continue adding colors in the future. These photos provide a glimpse into our color development process, but are not the final options. When placing your pre-order, you don’t need to choose your colors. We will mail you a color card later this summer so you can see each color in person and choose your favorites.
Beam tells the story of the many hands involved in growing, spinning, twisting, and dyeing this cotton before it arrives at your loom.
It begins where everything starts - in the fields. Each batch we make is traceable to a specific farm, grown in the South Plains of Texas by a farmer member of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative.
The singles are spun by Hill Spinning in Thomasville, North Carolina, and Shuford Yarns in Hickory, North Carolina twists the two plies of yarn together. From there, Beam makes its way to Ultimate Textiles, a dye house in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Each time you weave with Beam, you are supporting the people involved in each step of making this yarn, from field to cone.
We are proud to be supporting domestic textile production, and know that this is critical to a vibrant and flourishing local textile industry. Most of this industry vanished as it became cheaper to produce goods overseas, and the companies that survived through that and continue to adapt to changing times need our support. The lack of enough locally manufactured Personal Protective Equipment during this COVID-19 pandemic shows one of the profound consequences of our disinvestment in the US textile industry.
And, the history of cotton in the United States is a story of the enslavement of Black people, sharecropping, segregation, and banks that would only lend money to white farmers and mill owners. The impacts and legacy of this continue to this day - it is not coincidence or happenstance that there are very few US industrial-scale farms and mills involved in textile production today owned by Black people. We plan to continue exploring these topics on our podcast (you can see a few of the past episodes here, here, and here). We are also working on finding ways to create new lines of yarn that aren't so heavily dependent on the existing industrial-scale methods of yarn production in the United States, by collaborating directly with the many BIPOC growing fiber and making and dyeing yarn. This work is ongoing.
When we launched our first line of yarn, Duet, we used a pre-order model. Our community rallied to support this project, purchasing the yarn in advance so that we could have the funding to put down deposits with the mill.
Many inventory-based businesses need to take out loans or run up steep credit card debt to fund their growth. With your support, we turn this model on its head. Through pre-orders, our community lends us the money we need to fund new production runs, and we pay you back (with bonus cones and free color cards!) in yarn. With our community as our investors, we are able to focus 100% on creating the quality you are looking for, with the values we share.
It’s a simple model, but something we never take for granted. In a world where enormous e-commerce corporations trained us to expect 2-day shipping, this beautiful community is saying: we’re fine to take a pause. We don’t need the instant gratification of the package on our doorstep tomorrow. We believe in you, we believe in your partners, and we’re ready to wait for something beautiful and ethical, that supports all chains of our domestic economy – from the farmer to the mill to the dye house to the retailer to the weaver.
If this model resonates with you, and if you’re excited to give Beam a try, we invite you to join us.