Monday, March 21, 2011


Does the amount of air added to fibre make the resulting yarn less dense?


An experiment to show that fibre preparation prior to spinning helps to produce a longer yarn without detriment to the thickness of the yarn; only the density is altered.


The aim of this experiment is to discover whether the amount of air one adds to the fibre prior to spinning (by stripping, fluffing and pre-drafting) changes the resulting yarn, providing a less dense, longer strand of yarn than when the fibre does not have air added. Should this prove to be true, it will enable me to work towards spinning enough yarn from 100g of fibre for a three-ply to make a pair of socks.


The more air that is added during the spinning process, the less dense the resulting yarn will be and therefore the resulting piece of yarn will also be longer.


Fibre: 100g of Corriedale Fibre (colour: Burgundy) split into two 50g strands
Spinning Wheel: Ashford Traveller


Split the 100g of fibre in half lengthwise to produce two 50g strands.
Split the 50g of fibre in half lengthwise.

First 50g
Spin directly from the strips of fibre, drafting while spinning.

Second 50g
Separate the fibre width wise to produce a wide fluffy strand
Elongate the fibre lengthwise (pre-draft) to produce a long fluffy strand which is virtually see-through.
Spin from this pre-drafted fibre, still drafting while spinning.

For both cases
Spin direction: Z
Ply type: Andean
Ply direction: S
Using the niddy-noddy wind the yarn off the bobbin and into a skein.
Count the number of wraps of the niddy-noddy. This number should be multiplied by 4 to provide the number of feet of yarn produced, which should be divided by 3 to provide the number of yards produced.
Tie, wash and whack the yarn to even and set the twist.
Measure the wpi of the yarn.


First 50g
Second 50g
Yarn ThicknessDK/SportDK/Sport
Yarn Weight (g)4350
Yarn Length (yards)7296
Calculated Length per 100g167192

Final result: Second 50g is 115% length of the first 50g, so the length has been increased by more pre-drafting.


The length of yarn spun from a given amount of fibre can affect the length of the final result.

I was expecting a more dramatic difference between the two fibres than was achieved, but this smaller difference may be due to my spinning style varying between the two, and how quickly I was spinning. Spinning faster may cause less drafting, which could also result in a more dense yarn.

No comments: