As we shared last week, only the highest quality, most unique sweaters are chosen to become LBK products. Once we're home from the thrift store and laundromat, the design process begins in earnest.
When selecting each sweater, we determine its worth by calculating how many "backs" we can produce from it once it's felted. A back is the top of the mitten that everyone sees when you wear it. This can range from one set to six. If it's very beautiful, we may splurge on it, even if we can only get one set.
All LBK mittens are assembled from four pieces of a sweater. Our quality craftsmanship shines when you realize that each pair of mittens is the result of color, texture, and pattern matching from up to four different sweaters. We believe variety is the spice of life, and we demonstrate that in how we create a cohesive look from the distinct pieces!
Because creating mittens from recycled wool is as much art as it is science, sometimes we're left with smaller pieces after the washing and drying process. We've built our business on the philosophy "Recycle, Reuse, Renew," so we're determined to make the most of every sweater we felt. Whether that means a sweater becomes a dog toy because the wool's felt is too thick for mittens and headbands or we cut scraps into circles to create Christmas tree garland or mini mitten Christmas ornaments (coming soon), we're always looking for innovative ways to create products from what we source.
This commitment also led to the development of three different sizes of mittens, something no other artisan mitten business offers. The size is indicated in the description of each pair on the website. More information about our sizing can be found in the FAQs section HERE.
All our mittens are lined with fleece to create an anti-itch barrier between your skin and the wool. The fleece also adds extra insulation from wind, water resistance—and, sometimes. a secret pop of color!
We hand select a coordinating color of fleece for each pair of mittens. While our favorite is charcoal gray, and black, brown, and cream are also common, sometimes we'll choose a brightly colored liner just for fun. The liner can't be seen when the mittens are worn, but it's our way of creating a little joy, just for the owner!
The fleece is purchased new and we have at least 10 colors in stock. Sewing the liners is an exacting process that requires diligent attention to detail, but Jenny (our only other employee) always delivers perfectly sewn liners with a smile.
In the ten years we've been in business, we've noticed that clothing manufacturers aren't producing as many patterned sweaters. The result of "fast fashion" (also known as "disposable clothing") is loads of cheap acrylic sweaters which are of no value to us. Because of this, we are experimenting with ways to create even more unique, one-of-a-kind designs. Check out our newest mittens to see how we're continuing to push ourselves to fashion unique pattern combinations to #spreadthewarmth.