Clothing/Cosmetics and Animal Abuse Article from

A Guide to Kind Knitting

From Wear It Kind
April 2024

There are over 1 billion sheep in the world! Australia is a major player in the wool industry and Merino sheep are the breed most often used for wool production on this continent. Sheep are complex, curious, and social creatures, who sadly are often treated poorly.

cruelty-free knitting
Image by Rosie Kerr, Unsplash

Did you know that there are animal welfare concerns with the production of wool?

One of the biggest problems is the mulesing of merino sheep. In mulesing, lambs have large strips of skin on their buttocks cut off without anesthetic. This cruel procedure is only practiced in Australia.

Mulesing is done to prevent possible fly attacks by removing excessive skin folds where flies sometimes like to lay eggs.

What can I do?

There are two questions you should ask yourself.

  • Could this yarn be made from alternative materials?
  • If so, you will find a list of common alternative materials in the guide.

Does it have to be merino wool?

If yes, you should consider the following to ensure that your purchase does not support animal suffering.

Find out about knitting wool brands and retailers. If your favorite brands or retailers publicly oppose mulesing and the wool has one of the following labels, then you can be sure that your wool is mulesed-free:


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE, including:

  • Mulesing-Free Labels
  • Alternative Materials: bamboo, cotton, hemp, linen, Lyocell, Tencel, Modal
  • The animal suffering behibnd mohair, alpaca, cashmere and angora wool


Please download and share An Animal-Friendly Knitting Experience (PDF brochure)

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