Five Facts About Fair Trade

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

The Manos Cooperatives are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to upholding the standards of Fair Trade. Every time you buy a skein of Manos yarn, you help a woman in Uruguay support her family. Here are 5 facts to know about Fair Trade. 

Fair Trade is more than just coffee and chocolate!

Manos del Uruguay Felt Ram

We focus on the yarn here but know the artisans of Manos create clothing, home accessories, leather goods, bags, and much more. You can shop the catalog by clicking here

Fair Trade means the value is placed on the lives of the workers.

Artisans of the Manos del Uruguay Cooperatives

The cooperatives are small, and there is no child or forced labor. The yarn is made in the cooperatives of Fraile Muerto, Rio Branco, and Dragón. The artisans do not have to travel to Montevideo, rather they can stay closer to their families in the Uruguayan countryside. 

Fair Trade uses environmentally sustainable methods.

Manos del Uruguay yarn dries outside

At the Fraile Muerte Cooperative, in fair weather, chickens wander around the yard beneath the drying yarn. In the winter, production schedules have to allow for increased drying time, because there are no indoor drying facilities; all the yarns are still line-dried out-of-doors.

Fair Trade means quality goods.

The local sheep graze on the native grasslands, not in a feed lot. Sheep that are treated well produce high-quality wool. Manos yarn is made in small dye lots in pots heated by wood fire or gas. The space-dyed colors are dyed up to six times per skein resulting in a piece of art! Every skein is unique. No two skeins are exactly the same! 

Fair Trade products aim to connect the global community! 

Take a look at the tag on your skein of Manos del Uruguay yarn. Every tag is signed by the artisan. It is a way in which you, the knitter or crocheter, are connected to the artisan!

We appreciate your continued support of Manos del Uruguay yarns! The Fairmount Fibers team (the U.S. distributors of Manos yarns) has organized a trip to Uruguay this month. The visitors will travel to the Dragón Cooperative and participate in a dye workshop with the artisans. We look forward to sharing photos of their adventure here in a future blog post. 


4 Reasons to Care About Fair Trade

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

If you are a knitter, crocheter, or weaver, you are going to need materials. While you first may be drawn to the fabulous Manos del Uruguay yarns for the color and feel, the yarn does more than just look good in your project! Fairmount Fibers would like to remind you that since its foundation in 1968, Manos del Uruguay has been deeply committed towards the social and economic development of the rural women.

Yarn Drying OutsideFair Trade is better for the environment. All the Manos del Uruguay yarns are line-dried outside! In the winter, production schedules have to allow for increased drying time, because there are no indoor drying facilities.

Manos ArtisanFair Trade means fair pay and working conditions and empowers women. The Manos Cooperatives provide health insurance, retirement pensions, paid vacations and paid maternity leave for their members.

Hand spun Wool ClasicaFair Trade means quality goods. Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica is hand spun in the cooperatives using pure wool from the local Corriedale sheep. The artisanal spin makes not-perfectly-even stitches part of the richness of the finished product rather than a flaw.

Julie's tag

Fair Trade connects you with other cultures. Each and every skein of yarn is signed, so you will know who made your yarn, and from which village it came.

Thank you for your continued support of Manos del Uruguay yarns! We enjoy seeing the projects you create and hope you will continue to share them with us! Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Ravelry, and Instagram.


Fair Trade from Start to Finish (part 3)

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics, Featured Projects

Over the last few days we have introduced you to the artisans that create Wool Clasica, the people that bring the yarn to your yarn shops, and today you can meet the knitter and see the finished object!

This is Julie.


Julie is wearing the hat she made in her Beginners Knitting class, from the yarn Nicole had skeined and shelved.  (Pretty great for a beginner, huh?)

How do we know this is a skein that Lides spun and Ana dyed?

Julie's tag

Because Lides signed it.

This is what Manos del Uruguay stands for:  artisanal yarn, cooperatively produced and fairly traded. When you choose Manos del Uruguay yarn, you’re choosing yarn with a purpose! Thank you for your continued support. We hope you continue to work with and support Fair Trade products, like Manos del Uruguay yarns, throughout the year!

Fair Trade from Start to Finish (Part 2)

Category: Fair Trade News & Topics

In today’s post we are bringing you the second part of the story of Manos del Uruguay yarn. We started in the Manos Cooperative of Dragon where Wool Clasica is spun and dyed.

This is Collin.


After Ana has dyed the yarn that Lides spun, it comes to the Fairmount Fibers warehouse in Philadelphia, where Collin unpacks it. He also repacks it for shipment to yarn shops all over the U.S.


This is Nicole.


After Collin has repacked the yarn that Lides spun and Ana dyed, Nicole skeins it up and puts it on the shelf at Rosie’s Yarn Cellar. Here the yarn is ready to be selected for that special project. Check back for our next post, where you’ll see the knitter and finished object!

Fair Trade from Start to Finish

Category: Artisan Profiles, Fair Trade News & Topics

Fans of Manos del Urugay yarns might already know that with each purchased skein of Manos del Uruguay yarn you will be helping a woman to support her family. As we celebrate Fair Trade in February, we’d like to present the people who are behind the yarn and have signed the tag on the yarn you have selected and purchased for your project.

This is Lides.

Lides from Dragon

She is a member of the Manos cooperative at Dragon, where she spins Wool Clasica.

This is Ana.

Ana from Dragon

She is a member of the Manos cooperative at Dragon, where she dyes the yarn that Lides spun.

The Dragon Cooperative is located in Placido Rosas, Uruguay.


Our next post will bring this yarn from Uruguay to Fairmount Fibers, LTD. the North American Distributor based in Philadelphia, PA.