Opinions about selling knitted Aran jumpers knitted with acrylic yarn

I knit and crochet things to sell. I was extremely sick for the last few years, so haven’t really been making and selling anything, but trying to get back into it.
I had a conversation with a friend recently about selling knitted Aran jumpers made out of acrylic yarn.
I am in the process of knitting one out of acrylic yarn right now because wool is expensive where I live and I just don’t have the money for wool right now. Obviously I would love to use 100% wool but I just can’t at the moment.
She told me that I could probably sell a knitted Aran jumper, knitted with acrylic yarn, for a couple hundred dollars even though it isn’t made with wool. That is her opinion.
My opinion, is that I don’t think anyone would pay that much unless it was knit with 100% wool.

I’m curious about others opinions.
Do you think pricing matters based on what the product is made out of, especially when it is knitted or crocheted?
Thank you in advance!

I agree with you, that I doubt anyone would pay that much for an acrylic jumper, but it does seem value is subjective - sometimes it’s more about the right person seeing something. If I were to buy a jumper to help keep me warm, though, wool is going to be preferable because acrylic doesn’t have insulating qualities.

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That you for your reply.
That is what I was thinking as well.
If I knit another Aran jumper in acrylic and actually tried to sell it, I would make sure it was known what it was made out of and it definitely wouldn’t be that high of a price.
I’m using acrylic right now because that is what I can afford and for practicing the different stitches and all, I think it is alright. This practice jumper is for myself at the moment anyway.

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That’s completely fine; plenty of people do still wear acrylic jumpers. Did you see the one Harry Styles had? Someone got my mum to make one, I think they gave her nearly £100 for the yarn and her time! I wish you all the success in selling yours :slight_smile:

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Thank you very much!
I’m a stay at home mum so that is how I was bringing in money. By knitting and crocheting things.
So now that I’m feeling a lot better and can do that, I want to get back into it.

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Hello
Sorry to hear you have been so unwell.

You asked for opinions. Mine is that people rarely value hand crafted items as highly as they really should. The skill, time and care that goes into making something is the same whether it is one material or another but the higher value is generally only given to the higher value material rather than the craftsmanship. This is true of so many things, not only textiles. It’s a shame as the real value is in the time and skill.

I think your friend realises the amount of time it takes to produce a knitted sweater - and as such believes it ought to sell for a price reflective of that time (although even a couple of hundred £ or $ would likely mean you are working at a very low rate per hour) but in reality that’s not how most consumers place value.

There are, of course, different markets. People with a high disposable income are more willing and able to pay for artisan items. Celebrity fashion and endorsement ands much more to the perceived value than either the yarn content or the skill and time.

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Interesting question!

I would factor in the cost of the materials alongside the cost of labour. In the case of an aran jumper, there is a lot of labour.

So let’s say the acrylic yarn cost X dollars, and the wool yarn cost twice as much. So your materials costs double. But the labour would be the same in acryclic or wool. And the materials costs might only be, say, 15% of your total cost.

(Just making up numbers here - I’ve never costed handknits.)

So, in conclusion, a handknit wool jumper would cost more to make than an identical design in acrylic, but not that much more.

Whether people would be willing to pay for the labour in an acrylic handknit is another matter. Arans come with a kind of cachet for being made of long-lasting, premium materials and being family heirlooms, and people may associate that strongly with wool, regardless of whether acrylic could do the same job.

Having said that, there are people who would prefer acrylic to wool for various reasons, and would still value the workmanship. It would just be a matter of finding those customers.

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Just wanted to add that if you continue in your endeavours and do want to use wool, coned wool can be very economical.

You probably know this already but it was something I didn’t discover for a few years. I was amazed when I found the coned Donegal yarns at Springwools, for instance.

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I’d forgotten about coned wool, even though I have a whole stash of it somewhere! :rofl: But yes to the economical value, especially if you can find the colours and weight you need secondhand, which is how I bought all mine lol.

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Another possible economical source for wool is a company such as Knit Picks that sells undyed wool. (There are various companies and mills around the world that do this – Knit Picks is just one example.)

Undyed cream wool is a classic choice for Arans, and you can often get it in larger skeins (or on cones as I mentioned in my other post).

So it is slightly less expensive due to being undyed and being sold in a larger quantity. So you might be able to save on two counts.

Not that I am against your using acrylic, just thought I’d mention this in case you decide to give it a try in the future.

All the best in your endeavours!

Ooh, yes, I’ve heard you can pick up coned wool at estate/garage/yard sales and on eBay for great prices.

I live near a woollen mill here in Australia that sells some coned yarns, so I have some from there plus some I ordered from Springwools in Ireland.

Then there’s Colourmart and similar that sell leftover stock from knitting mills, although it’s always changing.

I imagine some mills will sell you coned/bulk yarn if you phone and enquire. For instance, the two Shetland yarn companies have coned yarn, but one of them doesn’t list cones on its website.

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Thank you, I have been doing better.
I guess it does depend on the person buying whatever it is that is being sold.
My friend has always told me that I sell things to cheaply. I had a request for a few pairs of knitted slippers before and the person I sold them to gave me extra money because she said I was selling them to cheaply.

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That is true. Like I said in another reply, I made a few pairs of slippers for someone who gave me extra money because she said I was selling them for too little.
She didn’t care that they were made out of acrylic.
I have looked at coned wool before because I try to get the best deals I can when I have money to buy but even those are pretty expensive.

I definitely would not buy (for myself) a handmade sweater made of synthetic material because that’s not my taste, I personally really dislike the material, but I wouldn’t be shocked at a +100 price point for a skillfully handmade Aran sweater in 100% acrylic. Why not? Skills do matter, whichever the material, and one could argue that acrylic can be a better choice for someone with sensitive skin or someone who can’t or won’t care for a high-maintenance material such as wool. Actually, I know quite a few people that dislike wool. If you were to sell the same sweater in both acrylic and wool, I would indeed expect the acrylic sweater to be a bit cheaper, but not necessarily by much.

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That was what I was thinking about doing at some point.
Have the option there of which material the jumper would be made from, and you just take your pick. The acrylic would definitely have a cheaper price.

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Hi Inthememory,
I agree with what Margs has said. I have never been able to tolerate wool. I think an acrylic alternative is a great idea.
Even a wool blanket with a sheet between it and me causes me to scratch like a hound. My mother made me a sweater once that made me itch like crazy. I washed it thinking that whatever was making me itch could be washed out of it. She knew I could not wear wool so I never considered that it had been made of a wool or wool blend and she hadn’t included a label. Once it was cleaned it would have fit a toddler.
I would make that one of the selling points. Let people know that there are advantages to buying an article lovingly made of acrylic. Acrylic is gentle on even the most delicate skin and eliminates any worries of having it shrink if accidentally laundered by a well meaning husband.
I have not been to a yarn store in quite a while, ( I do mostly crochet in thread) but I don’t remember the wool being offered in as many colours as the acrylic yarn. If that is still true, it is another advantage in your favour.
I have some beautiful sweaters that my mother has knitted for me in acrylic and I love them.
I wish you lots of luck with your projects.
Vicki Henderson

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Wool or acrylic aside–it will use the same YARDAGE and TIME either way. You need to get paid for both. I’ve seen a way of pricing handknits at something like $0.15/yard of yarn, PLUS the cost of the yarn itself. The per yard price is for your time–how long it takes you to use up a yard of yarn. Just one more thing to consider! You might also check on Etsy for “acrylic aran sweater”—there are several. The first one I saw was priced at $150, so there ARE people getting at least that much. We won’t talk about the ones on Amazon for $16…

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Yes. It would matter a very great deal the fiber of a garment. Many people will pay a premium price for handmade of a quality fiber. Unfortunately acrylic would not command the price you’re hoping. A handmade acrylic jumper would still get a buyer but prepare for a substantially lower price. The hard truth is that your hours and craftsmanship won’t matter as much as the finished product.

I almost always choose acrylic, and go with name brand soft acrylics that are easy care; though bamboo or similar options are a great option.

I’m sorry to hear you and wool don’t seem to get on very well.
I never even thought about others who can’t wear wool, until it was brought up in this thread.
The wool where I live in extremely expensive. I would have to pay the same amount to get the wool that I would sell the jumper for. Unfortunately, I cannot afford that.