Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A Spinning Glossary

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.

Buy on Amazon:

[amazon ASIN=1931499381][/amazon]

[amazon ASIN=0908704941][/amazon]

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