DYNT specializes in American Made supplies for crocheters, knitters, spinners, weavers, and other fiber artists and crafters.
Recently, when I mentioned this to a yarn rep of an imported product, she got very upset with me and launched into a tirade explaining that she was an American citizen and that her children were all born here. I’m sure this was backlash, on her part, from all the hateful rhetoric the media has been forcing upon us lately. But it struck me personally, as I don’t want DYNT’s mission to turn into something mean, spiteful, or misunderstood.
Let me be perfectly blunt, when I say DYNT specializes in American MADE products, I am not trying to insult anyone’s nationality or imply that they themselves are un-American. We select American made products because we are trying to support and encourage enterprising individuals, small manufacturers, and raw material producers in our home country. Part of what makes our economy strong, is the fact that we are able to manufacture items here, AND import items. When we select U.S. made items over imported items for DYNT's inventory, we are not trying to discredit the quality of the items that are made in other countries, but rather, we are simply giving priority to items produced by other people who live in the States.
We chose American made items for a number of reasons - the easiest to grasp is lack of physical space. When your floor plan is small, and the possible offerings are large, you need an easy way to quickly rule out some options. Only choosing one color, fiber, or weight of yarn would be silly. Can you image it? “Welcome to Darn Yarn, where all the items are blue.” Silly right? But by choosing American made options, we can still offer many yarn weights, an amazing rainbow of color options, many different fiber contents, and a variety of tools and accessories, all while not really looking much different than most other independent yarn shops.
Another reason that we offer American made supplies is that it’s been important for me personally to buy American whenever I can - from clothes, to dishware, to home decor. So when it came time for me to open my own retail shop, it was only natural for me to look for American suppliers, and as it turns out, there are quite a few!
That may seem trivial to some, but I’ve noticed, as my consumer power has grown from a small allowance and spending money into adulthood and self sufficiency, that fewer and fewer items I purchase are made here. Meanwhile, the economy is always struggling. I’m not an economist, but it seems pretty basic, if we choose to buy more products made here, our own economy will benefit; and if more people make an effort to buy American made items when they are available, more manufacturing facilities remain open, and therefore, more of our neighbors stay employed or have job opportunities available to them.
Yet another reason we choose domestic products over imported is the environment. Yep. You read that correctly. It sounds strange, but when you think about it, if we purchase yarn from a manufacturer located a few hundred miles away, there is less energy consumed than if we were to purchase the same product from an overseas manufacturer. The overseas manufacturer has to ship the product to a port or airfield, it's then sent over the sea to another port or airfield, placed on a rail car or truck, shipped to a distributor, and finally shipped out again to the retail shop. That's a lot of shipping, and fuel, not to mention any importing fees or customs regulations.
That being said, It’s understandable that not every item in the shop is American made. We have a few fairly traded items that round out some of the offerings - llama yarn and reclaimed silk, for example. It seems logical that some of the Shetland wool is imported from the Shetland Islands, and I don’t really know where the nearest yak farm is, so that’s imported too.
But boy, do we get excited when we find a new line that can replace an imported item or round out what we currently offer! Currently we have American made yarns, spinning wheels, spindles, weaving looms (tabletop), knitting needles, crochet hooks, roving, project bags/organizers and buttons. Check out the “Our Products” page for a more complete listing. Also, please note - when in the shop, if an item is in a bin and the bin label has a red or blue star on it, the item in the bin is made state-side.
Every now and then I like to remind myself, and everyone else, why DYNT continues to search out the U.S. made items. It helps me to remember my personal goals for the shop and it acts as an explanation for those that have just recently found DYNT. So use this as a friendly reminder - when you use products purchased at DYNT, your hard work, thoughts, love, and monetary investment is felt backwards through the supply chain too. And for that, on behalf of those factory workers, small farmers, independent dyers, and small manufacturers, I’d like to say thanks.