Friday, November 03, 2006

Lionbrand Goes Upscale?


Check out Lionbrand's recent newsletter. They are selling a new line of handpainted luxury yarn: 100 percent cashmere, mohair and silk, etc. And they have the luxury prices of $40 and $20 to match. I know those prices aren't unusual for handpainted yarn, especially in all-natural fibers. Heck, the cashmere price might even be "cheap" for cashmere (which is about 100 yards of worsted weight for $40). I don't price 100 percent cashmere often. I know I've seen it for much more than $40 a skein. But they are much higher than the typical Lionbrand yarns.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of selection in the colors. And they aren't wowing me. They just seem dull. Normally when I see handpainted yarn, I think "wow, that is amazingly beautiful." Of course, it could be my screen. But most of the colors are earthy and dark. They don't have to be neon, but, on my screen at least, they look dull.

I think it is an interesting development for Lionbrand. I wonder if this new "Masterpiece Collection" will be sold at Michael's? I doubt it. Doesn't fit the Michael's customer. And it doesn't seem to fit the Lionbrand target market. I guess they are trying to expand their market. But, it seems that the people who don't like Lionbrand, REALLY don't like it. So why would they spend $20 on a yarn they can't touch (assuming it will only be available online) from a company they don't like? And the people who really LIKE Lionbrand are attracted to the easy, washable, cheap acrylic stuff.

Interesting ...

4 comments:

Ragan said...

I noticed those in the little ad I got. They do look dull, I don't see myself buying any. I do love their stuff normally though.

Theresa said...

Personally, I don't really trust Lionbrand to make yarns worth the price. I have plenty of other places to buy "good" yarn, and I think they might lose their niche this way.

Yarn Coffee said...

Here's my arguement. Lion brand is where knitters look to find something that perhaps has a festive color and a mild quality ( compared to Red Brand). They are willing to pay the $5.99 for the Homespun or the Thick-N-Quick because you can still make a fairly cute scarf that won't be itchy and may even be able to pass for yarnstore quality yarn. Pattons is somewhat similar with their wool yarn, especially their new felting yarns. However, no one would think to go to JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels to buy cashmere. Cashmere is a highend fiber. It is meant to be extravagent, not just in price but in quality as well. Those that shop Lion Brand don't intend to make high-end garments with it. I agree with you Theresa, the demographic that shops for Lion Brand either will scoff at the price of such expensive yarn from Lion Brand or they will not trust the quality because Lion Brand Yarn is not intended to be that upscale. I would assume those that either can afford or like to purchase cashmere would also value the LYS experience and most likely you will not find Lion Brand at your LYS.

KnitPastis said...

Oh my gosh, I think I remember seeing this in my Lionbrand magazine! I have to see if I still have it in my stack of knitting mags. Booo thought if it is that high priced.