sitemap Handspinning Woollen and Worsted Yarn - Basic Yarn Design

Basics of Yarn Design

Handspinners are faced with many choices and decisions when designing yarn. Factors that effect the characteristics of the outcome include: The most important element in yarn design, for a beginner, is understanding the characteristics of the fiber used and what type of yarn it will produce.

Handspinning Woollen and Worsted Yarn

Woollen and worsted yarn are two types of yarn that can be handspun. Both types require different fiber preparation on spinning techniques.

Woollen Yarn
Woollen yarn is spun using a short staple fiber that is prepared by handcarding and rolled into rolags. A drumcarder can also be used. When spinning the fiber the long draw or medium draw technique is used to allow the fiber to wrap upon itself while trapping air in the center. This makes the yarn soft and bouncy. This yarn is best used for garments that will not be subjected to harsh wear, such as light weight knits. It can also be used for garments that will later go through a fulling process, such as blankets, coats, and jackets. Fulling is a process that contracts the yarn in a knitted garment and makes the fabric stronger.

Worsted Yarn
Worsted yarn is spun using a long staple fiber that is prepared by combing with dutch combs or a flicker carder, to keep the fibers parallel, and to remove the shorter ones. When spinning, the worsted technique is used, in which, the fiber is first drafted and then twisted using the thumb and forefinger to flatten the loose fibers. This makes a stronger yarn that can be used for hard wearing garments, rugs, blankets, and warp for weaving.

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