Today, Lion Brand Yarn Company, a leading supplier of premium knitting and craft yarn, is unveiling its innovative new “Skein Tones” product line that complements a wide spectrum of skin tones. To develop and launch the new line, Lion Brand collaborated with, and drew inspiration from, Black crochet artist and doll designer Aniqua Wilkerson. The result is a modern neutral palette of 12 gorgeous shades of Basic Stitch Anti-Pilling™ acrylic yarn that allows everyone to find their perfect match.
Wilkerson is a celebrated and recognized crochet artist, known for her online store and blog “My Kinda Thing,” which features her signature Beautifully Brown Doll Collection – a line of handmade dolls designed to promote pride and confidence in children of color, particularly girls, through representation and positive imagery.
“I was excited when Lion Brand approached me to collaborate on this project,” said Wilkerson. “It’s so important that we all see ourselves represented in the things we deem important and valuable. One of the best feelings in the world is to know that you are visible. How cool is it to see yourself represented in your favorite hobbies? Whether you’re making a doll or a sweater, I hope that everyone finds a shade in this line that highlights and reflects their unique skin tone.”
The Skein Tones line, which is a play on words for the crafting term that refers to a wound ball or coil of yarn, is designed to not only match but also complement a wide range of skin tones with neutral shades of browns, creams and taupes, including “honey,” “cedar wood,” “cocoa” and “nutmeg.”
Wilkerson not only served as the lead consultant on the product line, she was also integral in choosing the colors and fibers, an experience that she said was personally fulfilling and will fulfill a need in the market.
“As a Black woman, it was so important to have my voice heard, and to have Lion Brand be so receptive and collaborative with every aspect of this project,” said Wilkerson. “It’s wonderful that these high-quality yarns are being released. So many brands have discontinued colors like these, and makers like me have had to go searching for them. I believe Skein Tones will change that in a big way.”
The launch will be accompanied by a social media campaign, which will include designer pop-ups, unboxings and an invitation to makers worldwide to share their garments complementing their skin tones using the hashtag #JustMySkin.
The launch will also see Wilkerson interviewed as a special guest on “The Shi Show,” Lion Brand’s daily web series, which airs Monday through Friday at noon EST on Lion Brand’s Facebook Live channel, and is hosted by the company’s Brand Ambassador, Shira Blumenthal. The show reaches Lion Brand’s nearly 600,000 Facebook followers.
“With more and more fashion brands introducing skin tone-inclusive palettes, Lion Brand wanted to give crafters a complete range of nuanced neutral options to work with to showcase and celebrate the full spectrum of skin tones,” said Shira Blumenthal. “It was a privilege to partner with Aniqua, a champion of diversity in the crafting space; we are so proud of the finished product.”
Lion Brand’s diverse range of blogger partners, who will help to promote Skein Tones, seem to share in the enthusiasm. Nadia Fuad, the woman behind YARNutopia, said, “I am honored to be part of this campaign! This is what the craft world needs to see a yarn company do to show that everyone is accepted and everyone deserves to be here in this community.”
The line is available to purchase at LionBrand.com and major retailers starting on March 8.