Monday, July 05, 2010
Tour de Fleece 2010 - woollen v. worsted
Have a look at this photo for me.
Can you tell the difference?
Both of these yarns are spun on the same spindle, useing the same method, are from the same part of the same sheep, are finished the same way, and in all but one important aspect, are identical.
Can you tell the difference yet?
The yarn on the left is, well, how do you put it? It is less organized. There is vegi-matter and noils showing. Overall the yarn on the left is less consistent.
The yarn on the right is smooth, almost to the point of being glossy. It is more orderly. It has a soft hand and, take my word for it, it is stronger.
So what's the difference? It's not my spinning skill. I wasn't a beginner or having a bad spinning day when I did the left yarn. It has nothing to do with the spinner, the tools, the finishing or the fibre used to make these yarns. They both took the same amount of time to spin for the same weight of fibre. So, what's the one difference?
I think you've guessed it.
The difference is in how the fibres were prepared. The yarn on the right was combed and the yarn on the (edit: the other right) left was carded.
Such a simple thing, and yet such a world of difference.
How the fibre is organized has more influence on the yarn than any other aspect of spinning. It's more important than the spinner. Sorry. The more I spin the more I realize that fibre prep. is a vital part of the yarn making process and should be considered a part of the act of spinning itself.