Some useful terms that you might come across whilst spinning.
Batt: Thick sheet of carded fibres.
Blending: Combining more than one fibre or colour together so that they act as one. Done by carding.
Bobbin: Holds the yarn once it is spun.
Break: A weakness in one part of the staple (due to thinning of the wool fibres)
Butt end: The end of the staple that has been shorn from the sheep: the cut end.
Carding: Breaking up a compact fibre mass to five it less density and make it more even. Carried out using carders.
Combing: Using a metal comb to separate the tip of the staple. Also removes any dirt or twigs in the wool.
Crimp: The wave pattern in a staple of wool
Crossbreed: The wool of a longwool sheep
Drafting: The pulling out and reducing of fibres carried out as part of the spinning process.
Drive Ratio: On a spinning wheel, the amount of times that the flyer turns in relation to one turn of the wheel.
Drum Carder: A mechanical tabletop device with rollers with teeth, for carding large amounts of wool.
Flick Carding: Preparing the wool for spinning using a small wooden batten with metal teeth against a firm surface such as leather.
Flyer: The part of the spinning wheel that holds the bobbin and that is connected to the wheel by the drive belt.
Fulling: Washing and finishing process for woolen cloth.
Kemp: Short course fibres found in some fleeces. Do not take dyes well.
Lazy Kate: Holder for the bobbins when plying on a wheel.
Loft: The airiness of the wool.
Micron: One millionth of a metre. Used to denote the density of wool.
Navajo Plying: A method of creating a 3-ply yarn from a single strand.
Niddy Noddy: Piece of kit used for winding yarns into skeins.
Orifice: An opening on the end of the spindle shaft of the wheel, through which the yarn passes on its way to the bobbin.
Plying: Spinning single yarns together to form a plied yarn.
Resiliance: The ability of wool to bounce back to its original shape/dimensions after being compressed.
Rolag: A coil of wool, made by hand carding.
Roving: A long, continuous piece of carded wool fibres which has been slightly twisted.
S-spun yarn: Yarn spun in an anticlockwise direction: often plied.
Scouring: Removing the natural grease and dirt in a fleece or wool in general.
Single: A single strand of spun yarn.
Staple: A lock of fleece.
Staple Length: The length of said lock of fleece: differs between sheep.
Top: A continuous piece of combed wool.
Yolk: The mixture of wax and sweat found in wools
Z-spun yarn: Yarn spun in a clockwise direction: often singles, prior to plying.
Worsted Yarn: Usually spun from long-stapled fleeces, using a short drafting technique.
Woollen Yarn: Usually spun from short-stapled fleeces, hand carded into rolags, using a medium draft or long-draw technique.
Resources and Further Reading:
[amazon ASIN=1931499381]In Sheep's Clothing: A Handspinner's Guide to Wool by Nola and Jane Fournier[/amazon]. 1995. Interweave Press.
[amazon ASIN="0908704941"]The Ashford Book of Spinning by Anne Field[/amazon]. 1986. Dryad Press.
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