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Interview with Takuo Noro about what’s new at Noro

Interview with Takuo Noro about what’s new at Noro

Now you’ve already stashed so much Noroyarn from Japan, because it’s just sooo gorgeous and the colors shine all around the bet, there is   a l r e a d y   a g a i n   new wool coming out. To find out exactly what’s new at Noro 2021 and what’s in store for the upcoming season, I went straight to the source and did a quick interview with Takuo Noro, Eisaku Noro’s son.

In doing so, I skipped the part about spring and summer yarns, because we are now in the second half of 2021, the fall/winter (FW) season. I had also already reported on the new yarns from the first half of the year in my Valentine post, and the yarn descriptions of Noro Enka and Noro Kakigori are already online, as well as a few projects made from these 2021 yarns.

So “Hello” and “Konnichiwa” to all fans of Noro, Noroyarn and of course of me, Noro maniac ;-). Here comes the world’s first ever interview with Takuo and you’ll get to know everything that’s new in Noro 2021 for the upcoming season. Be curious and happy!

Note: This is the translation of the interview by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) with Takuo Noro “What’s new at Noro” that was already published here in German on August 17. Feel free to email me at hello@noromaniac.com if you find a gross error in your native language, and I’ll correct it. Thanks a lot 🙂

 

Takuo presents what's new at Noro, the new yarns and the company's mission in the Interview with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) - Naturalness, Wabi Sabi, Feel Good and Have Fun.

The interview with Takuo Noro

Katrin Walter aka Noromaniac:
Dear Takuo, thank you so much for having time for me. To start off, for all of you who follow me here and are interested in your great yarns, can you please reveal what your role in the company „Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd“ is and what are your favorite tasks to do?

Takuo Noro:
I’d love to. So, if you will, my job title is „Yarn Producer Director“. I see my job as producing unique and beautiful yarn and making it available to our fans. I want to help make sure that people who knit or otherwise process our yarns can create fancy and exciting things with it, and feel comfortable and have fun processing the wools and yarns.

The creative team at Noro with Ms. Noriko Ito, Mr. Shigeo Kobayashi and Ms. Ai Muramoto. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for the Interview with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac)
The creative team at Noro, with Ms. Noriko Ito, Mr. Shigeo Kobayashi and Ms. Ai Muramoto, also contributes to this. They develop new color patterns, design models, create brochures and take care of the online business and social media.

Katrin:
At the same time, more and more handcrafters are attaching importance to sustainability and animal welfare. Can you say something about that?

Interview with Takuo Noro, Director of Production, shows us what's new at Noro 2021 and talks about the quality standards at the Japanese yarn manufacturer Noro with Katrin Walter. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for Noromaniac
Takuo Noro

Takuo:
We do as well, but in fact we don’t talk much about it, because for us it’s a matter of course.

However, I understand that customers want to know more about NORO. And I think it is very important to inform that Noro yarns are produced conscientiously and with ecology and sustainability in mind. In the future we will try to provide more details about the materials from which NORO yarn is created and about the-methods of keeping the animals and processing the fibers into our hand knitting yarns.

In any case, the husbandry of the animals from which we source wool and fleece is animal-friendly and environmentally friendly, and we pay attention to this when purchasing. We know our suppliers well. In terms of wool, for example, Noro mainly uses that of sheep from Falkland and New Zealand. In both locations the sheep are kept naturally and are NEVER mulesed. And we, at NORO refrain from carbonizing* and many other things to be environmentally friendly.

Katrin:
That sounds good and yes, that is important to know, as Noro wool is not cheap either. The knitters and crocheters and everyone who processes Noro yarn in any other way will be grateful for this, because this way they can use it with a clear conscience. Can you tell us what yarns are new at Noro 2021 for the fall/winter season, i.e. what else Noro fans can look forward to this year?

What’s new at Noro 2021?

Takuo:
Well, of course, we have launched four new yarns for the international market for the Fall/Winter 2021 season. They are the following:

Katrin:
What are the ideas behind each of these new Noro yarns?

Takuo:
We put a lot of effort and a lot of time into creating beautiful and unique yarns. We deliberately play with the irregularity in the thread of the yarns, which add to the play of colors and create a unique rhythm. This is also the case with the yarns that are new to Noro 2021 for the upcoming season.

In the picture the Madara from the upcoming fall/winter collection. Here you can see 6 of the 12 colors in skeins: sake, yellow, green, turquoise, orange and red. Photo for Noromaniac's (Katrin Walter) interview with Takuo Noro
The brand new Noro Madara.

The new Noro yarns in detail

Katrin:
Can you tell us a little more about the new fall/winter yarns?

The Taranui farm in New Zealand, where the sheep graze from which the wool for the new Noro Haunui comes, as Takuo Noro tells Katrin Walter in an interview. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for Noromaniac
The Taranui Farm in New Zealand.

Takuo:
I’d be happy to. So, there’s the Noro Haunui. This yarn was made in collaboration with Taranui Farm in South Canterbury, in New Zealand. The owner of this family-run farm is the Gardner family. They have protected the breeding of their own breed of Haunui sheep and have lovingly raised the sheep for many years. From the fleece of these sheep are obtained these unique and natural colors, which we have in the Noro Haunui – as they are – natural.

>>>>> To the yarn description of Noro Haunui at Noromaniac

The Noro Viola is also made of one hundred percent wool. With it we wanted to offer stripes in a different way than in the other pure wools like the Noro Kureyon and the Noro ITO.

>>>>> To the yan description of Noro Viole at Noromaniac

Noro Madara is something completely new. The yarn represents the beauty of Japan with multi-layered, complex colors as we see in Japanese lacquerware and equally in the gardens and through the four seasons of Japan’s nature.

>>>>> To the yarn description of Noro Madara at Noromaniac

Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed is, as the name suggests, the tweed version of Silk Garden Sock Solo. In this tweed yarn, colored speckles pop out and it gives the impression that colorful diamonds are scattered and sparkling inside.

>>>> To the yarn description of Noro Silk Garden Sock with Solo Tweed

On the photo the new wools Noro Haunui and Noro Viola in 200 g balls and the Noro yarn Madara a wool blend with silk and alpaca in skeins - Wool that makes you happy Made in Japan. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for Noromaniac for New at Noro 2021 interviw with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter für Neu bei Noro 2021
On the photo the new yarns Noro Haunui and Noro Viola each in a 200 gram ball and the Noro yarn Madara in a skein of 100 gram each.

The name meanings of the yarns, which are new to Noro 2021

Katrin:
Thank you Takuo and what are the meanings of the names of the yarns that are new to Noro 2021 in H/W?

Takuo:
Haunui is not a Japanese word. It is the name of the sheep breed and means strong wind or land of wind. The word comes from the Māori language, one of the official languages of New Zealand.

Madara in Japanese language means shading of colors or mixture of different colors.

Viola is supposed to convey harmony just like the beauty of the viola (flower) and like the sounds of the violas (musical instruments).

Well and as already said, Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed means a new version of Silk Garden Sock Solo.

Pictured is the Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed, which is new ao Noro for fall/winter: here the colors are light blue and light yellow. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for Noromaniac (Katrin Walter) – Interview with Takuo Noro
The new Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed.

The quality and origin of the raw materials for the Noro yarns

Katrin:
Perfect. My readers keep asking me where the raw materials for Noro wool and the other Noro yarns come from. Can you briefly say something more about that?

Takuo:
So the raw materials for the new Haunui come 100% from the Taranui farm in New Zealand. The other materials for our Noro wool come from the Falkland Islands (wool), New Zealand (wool) and partly from Australia (merino wool). The alpaca fleece comes from Peru. Our silk comes from China. Mohair we get from South Africa. Nylon is produced directly in Japan.

Angora goats in South Africa. The goat hair is used to make mohair, which is incorporated into some of Noro's yarns, making them light and fluffy. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for the Interview by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) with Takuo Noro
Angora goats in South Africa. Their hair is used to make the mohair that goes into some Noro yarns.

Wool, wool … Noro wool

Katrin:
Wool is your favorite material, isn’t it? What special qualities do you love about it?

Takuo:
Yes, wool has so many wonderful properties. For example, it can bind moisture, it is odor-reducing, dirt-repellent and flame-retardant. Wool can also be dyed well. But you know that well, since you keep writing about us and know a lot of our yarns.

However, with the Noro Haunui, we have chosen not to dye it. We use the original colors from the breeder and do not process this wool unnecessarily. There are five original colors of sheep in the Haunui that are categorized on the farm. We keep these in the same way for the hand knitting yarn Noro Haunui and thus the properties of the wool as they are by nature.

Pictured is the Noro Haunui, new to Noro 2021 for fall/winter: 3 balls of wool and a knitted hat with hearts. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for for the Interview by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) with Takuo Noro
The new wool Noro Haunui in natural colors.

The color numbers at Noro

Katrin:
Somewhat different again, where does the selection of colors and color numbers come from, which are not always consecutive?

Takuo:
We do a lot of trials to develop the „colorways“, producing an enormous amount of color swatches and colors for a harmonious overall look, and to add something special to the range. Then we select from these samples. In the process, certain color numbers fall out; the remaining ones are not renamed specially.

In the test lab at Noro, the "Team Trial Production" tests new material compositions and color mixtures and meticulously records the results to create yarn that makes you happy made in Japan. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for the Interview with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac)
In the trial lab at Noro, the „Team Trial Production“ tests new material compositions and color mixtures and meticulously records the results.

Katrin:
Speaking of color. Do you have a favorite color?

Takuo:
Yes, I like indigo blue** the best.

Katrin:
It’s a great color. I can’t name my favorite color at all. Sometimes it’s this one and sometimes that one. It always depends on the yarn, but basically I prefer strong and bright colors and that’s why I’m right here with you.

Takuo Noro, the production director of Eisaku Noro. . Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for the Interview with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac)

Takuo:
We are very happy to work with supporters like you. Of course, we also follow you on Instagram and on your website. We really appreciate your work and support.

Katrin:
Thank you very much 🙂 and thank you so much for your time and insights and I hope your father, Eisaku Noro, and everyone at Noro is doing well too.

Takuo:
Yes, thank you for asking. My father and my whole family and all the staff at Noro are doing well and are all healthy. I hope everyone is well with you too.

*** *** ***

I can only answer Takuo’s polite question in the affirmative, and I don’t just mean that in terms of health. I’m also mighty proud of the interview, and that I was finally able to communicate directly with my favorite yarn manufacturer, that is, my hero.

New at Noro 2021 – The World of Nature keeps on turning

New at Noro 2021 are these four yarns from Japan, which we talked about above, are coming onto the market. But you have heard that the standards that are applied to work at Noro have not been changed. We Noro fans can continue to rely on the wonderful quality and sustainable production of the yarns.

The world of nature

You only have to open the new labels of the Noro yarns. There you will find the philosophy perfectly summarized:

The beige label on all new Noro yarns with the quality promise and a statement from Eisaku Noro. Photo: Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) to illustrate the interview text with Takuo Noro.

„Be free from existing concepts and limitations. Pursue the image in our minds.“ Eisaku Noro

Natural fiber:
The fiber is hand selected ans inspected by Master Eisaku Noro from the moste reliabl and ethical suppliers. Fibers are never treated with acids or harmful chemicals. They are gently spun to preserve original qualities and character.

Natural colors:
Eisaku Noro creates asymmetric patterns and complex colors to mimic the beauty of nature that surrounds you.

Natural process:
Wabi Sabi embraces natural imperfections. The harmony of natural variation and original character oft he fibers are preserved and delivered into your hands.

Yarn that makes you happy – Made in Japan

This is the Noro mission. It provides,

  • to manufacture only ethical products that are environmentally friendly and therefore good for people and nature
  • to make people happy and to give them joy
  • to surprise again and again
  • to make every single yarn special

So Noro makes me happy with it and I hope also you and from today many many more. Perhaps I have also managed to remove a few question marks from some doubters and to convey with this little interview with Takuo Noro, which high quality demands and standards prevail at Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd, to which Takuo, as production manager, and the entire team of this artisanal yarn manufacturer from Japan are committed.

So Noro makes me happy with it and I hope you too, and from today many many more. Perhaps I have also managed to clear a few question marks out of the way of some doubting people and with this little interview with Takuo Noro to convey the high quality demands and standards at Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd, which Takuo as Production manager and the entire team of this artisanal yarn manufacturer from Japan are committed.

Dyed fibers for yarn production. Here you can see some of the raw material in bright pink and ruby colored for the production of Silk Garden. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for the Interview by Katrin Walter (Noromaniac) with Takuo Noro
Dyed fibers for yarn production at Noro. Here you see some of the raw material in bright pink and ruby red for the production of Noro Silk Garden.

More information about Noro, Noroyarn and what you can make from it

You can find more about this topic in the statement of Eisaku Noro, here … and on the page about Noro, here …

And I think it also succeeded with what is new at Noro 2021 in autumn and winter. I’ve already had my hands on these new products from Japan, and I assure you, you can really look forward to the gorgeous new yarns that Takuo Noro introduced to us in the interview here. So stay tuned and check back from time to time, because I’ll be showing you my projects made with the new wools soon. You can always find all Noroyarn reviews here and on the subpages there (a few are still missing) …

You can also write to me if you have any questions. Or leave a comment! Feel free to describe your experiences with individual yarns, regardless of whether they are no longer available in stores, have been on the market for a long time or have just been released by Noro 2021 …

I look forward to your view 🙂 and thank you in advance. Arigato!

New at Noro 2021 are Madara, Haunui, Viola and Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed. Here the color reports presented in the Interview with Takuo Noro by Katrin Walter - feel good yarn for happy knitters and crocheters. Photo: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd for Noromaniac
And still the overview of the Colors/colorways of the four yarns new at Noro 2021 (from top left to bottom right): Noro Viola, Noro Silk Garden Sock Solo Tweed, Noro Haunui, Noro Madara.

Photos accompanying interview with Takuo Noro and article „New at Noro“: Eisaku Noro & Co. Ltd. and Katrin Walter (Noromaniac)


*Carbonizing
Carbonizing is a process in which plant parts are dissolved out of the wool with the aid of dilute sulfuric acid. This process involves considerable water consumption. If this is not done, as is the case with Noro, the yarns become somewhat irregular and now and then a scratchy piece of straw is found in the thread, but this can easily be picked out by the knitters/crocheters.

**Indigo
This color corresponds to a dark shade of blue, a deep blue bordering on violet.


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More yarn hero stories can be found here …

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