It produces yarns for handcrafting under the Noro brand name, as well as machine yarns for textile production using the Eisaku Noro label. The company was founded over forty years ago by Eisaku Noro. The handcrafting yarns in particular are well known for their vivid colors and combinations of diverse fiber types. They differ from a number of other manufactured yarns in the industry by having lengthier spans of color in the runs, causing distinctive striping patterns, as well as being partially spun by hand versus being produced completely by machines.
All animal fibers that are used in the yarns come from certified organic farms, from international sources such as Australia, the Falkland Islands and South Africa. Noro is personally involved with inspecting all aspects of production, from visiting the animal farms to checking the machinery used and keeping restrictions on the dye processes to maintain products that are as eco-friendly as possible. He says "Friction, rubbing and heat during processing weaken the fibers in direct proportion to the length of time they are processed. By dramatically shortening this process, we are preventing damage to the enzymes in the fibers and simultaneously profiting the environment."
Differences in processing from other yarn manufacturers include the use of a single roller on the carding machine instead of the usual three, hand-feeding tufts of fiber into the carding machine, and the arrangement of specified color runs by hand. The single roller as well as the shorter bed on the spinning machine result in less twist to the single ply than other yarns, giving a variance in thickness along its length.
Following the devastating 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, Eisaku Noro addressed a letter on March 18, 2011 to their US distributor, Knitting Fever, and to his customers, who desired to donate funds for relief efforts for Japan. The letter states that he and his company were fortunate not to have suffered any damages, relates the plight of the people who were affected, and expresses his gratitude for those concerned for them.
Another letter, from Noro's son and operations manager Takuo Noro, on the European handcraft yarn distributor's website, gives details of the distances of their main site and dye house from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, as well as the ports their company uses to import raw goods and export products. The ports, in Nagoya, Osaka, and Kobe, are located to the south or west of the company. He also states that the production facilities are all indoors and the radiation levels in these areas have not changed from normal levels. He concludes the letter saying there have been no changes in their surroundings since the earthquake and that the Japanese government was considering conducting radiation inspections on all of the nation's outgoing products.