Brand Spotlight: Schoppel Wolle
If you haven’t tried Schoppel Wolle yarns yet, we highly recommend you do! This is a brand ahead of its time. They focus on color and sustainability with the goal of not meeting today’s standards, but exceeding them and innovating to be able to create beautiful, ethical products for generations to come. We hope you enjoy learning a little more about this bright and bold brand!
Schoppel Wolle has been producing and processing high quality yarns in Germany for more than 70 years. The company’s rigorous standards begin with the farmers they partner with and the treatment of the animals, and it extends through the milling and preparing of the final product. Schoppel Wolle seeks to shorten supply chains and has even developed and patented some of the machines they use to ensure expectations are met.
“We are color” is Schoppel Wolle’s tagline and the passion behind the brand itself. The company firmly believes that “color is the language of the unconscious mind” and it can be both inspired and inspirational. Color is taken very seriously, but also creatively and playfully to develop unique combinations of the artistic touch and necessary calculations. You’ll truly be able to express yourself through color with these yarns!
Schoppel Wolle’s aesthetic may best be summed up by the following comment on their website:
Cats are simply special creatures! Always relaxed, always distinguished, but also looking for an opportunity to play as well as for a nice and cozy environment. Just the right place for our yarns to thrive in color and form.
Louise the cat! ©Schoppel Wolle
Schoppel Wolle is also dedicated to sustainability which we love and appreciate. While the company has been traditional in its workings for decades, the team is actively trying to adjust their processes to continue to improve their environmental impact. For example, many of Schoppel Wolle’s yarns meet the strict criteria for the Global Organic Textile Standards, and they use an eco-friendly polyamide for reinforcing sock yarns. This product naturally biodegrades in years instead of decades. Also, the Supreme Green Cotton base bears many sustainability seals including efficient use of resources and socially acceptable working conditions.
We had the opportunity to ask Gerhard Schoppel - owner and CEO of Hohenloher Wolle GmbH - a few questions, and he was kind enough to share the following with us. We enjoyed hearing his passion come through and could not agree more with his thoughts on the fiber community!
MFY: Color is the heart of Schoppel Wolle. Where does the inspiration or new colors come from?
Gerhard: I am fascinated by the spirit of colors. Color is the language from the unconscious mind. You never know where the ideas will come through between fashion and art . Every year is different and it is always the challenge in our collection.
MFY: How do you choose names for your yarns?
Gerhard: If there is no name upcoming, there is no sense for a new yarn and colors. Color names shall touch the creative human spirit. Unfortunately, we create the names first from our mother language, so some color names can be a little bit strange in other languages.
MFY: Do you have a favorite yarn? Is that like asking if you have a favorite child?
Gerhard: With every yarn we create, there is a final project in the background, so no preference in yarns. It always depends on the project .
Choosing wool micron depending on the project.
Choosing yarn gauge depending on the project.
Choosing color effect depending on the project.
Choosing fiber depending on the project.
Too many aspects have to be considered. For knitters it is not easy to find preferences. Learning about the property of yarn is part of knitters hobby.
MFY: We love your dedication to sustainability and organic processes. Can you share a little about what is going on behind the scenes to continue to grow in these areas?
Gerhard: It is my private challenge to bring our collection in a sustainable frame, but we never want to lose our main focus of color and fashion. We are in a conservative market with some of our yarns selling for more than 30 years successfully, so we have to act carefully.
There are several key points to consider such as sustainable carbon free production and animal welfare. Our big advantage with our production system is that we choose raw material starting from the fiber. So we can follow the production chain until its end. We work very closely and friendly with our suppliers so we move everything slowly in this direction. Self-made garments shall not tell stories of maltreated people and animals. We try to do everything we can to ensure that customers can enjoy garments made with love .
MFY: Are you a knitter/crocheter/weaver?
Gerhard: I am only a knitter. Love knitting because of the 3 dimensions to work with. Enough possibilities in creating. The advantage of knitting is also that you can unravel if you do not like and start again.
MFY: What are you working on? What is your go-to type of project?
Gerhard: My idea is always to produce useful things. Sweaters are the main challenge. I only wear my own-made sweaters made in top down Raglan technique. I do not like sewing. Now I’ve learned splicing yarn ends in the Russian join technique, so I have only 6 yarn ends in one sweater in order to finish my project - 1 at the top, 1 at the bottom and 4 at the sleeves.
MFY: We noticed cats are prominent within the Schoppel Wolle brand. Any pets? Is there an office animal?
Gerhard: At home we have Thelma and Louise. Louise is the black cat. But at the beginning of our hand knitting production, 40 years ago, we had a production cat sitting behind the machine all the time surrounded by yarn. Since that time we have had cats. When one cat left a new one appeared. We live in the countryside, and it seems that wild and hungry cats know our address well. Now we are very experienced with cats.
MFY: What makes the fiber arts community special?
Gerhard: To belong to this community - it is a real gift to be part of a community of grateful and honest people. Every day we look at all these things which were made from our yarn and it is really something special in our heart.
We measure ourselves by the happiness that our product can generate.
We carry a number of Schoppel Wolle yarns, but they have an incredible selection of weights and bases to choose from from alpaca to cashmere to cotton to linen to wool.
We have Ambiente, Lace Balls, Wunderklecks and Zauberballs in stock, as well as Zauber Perlen gradient sets!
If you’re looking for pattern inspiration, Schoppel Wolle has incredible patterns available on their Knit the Cat website (there are crochet patterns too!) Not all are available in English, but many are, and you’ll love seeing their yarns worked up! Shown here is the #29 Flowery shawl designed by Susanne Ederleh.
To learn more and engage with Schoppel Wolle, we encourage you to check out their website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry!