Some Spinning Techniques


True Worsted is spun using combed fibers. The shorter fibers and non-fiber materials are removed, and the remaining fibers are aligned parallel to the length of the fiber. Usually longer fibers are used, becaused they use the advantages of this technique. While drafting the twist never enters the drafting triangle. The forward hand pulls the fibers towards the wheel or spindle, and then slides back to the drafting zone, smoothing as it slides. This creates a denser and smoother yarn. Because the shorter fibers are removed, worsted yarn is stronger.


True Woolen is spun using carded fibers, some say that rolags must be used. The shorter fibers are not removed, and the preparation leaves the fibers not aligned. Flicked locks probably fall into this area. In the rolag they are perpendicular. This technique is used more with shorter fibers. The spin is allowed into the drafting triangle. The spinner pulls the fiber supply away from the wheel using the backwards hand, then releases the front hand allowing the twist to travel back to the drafting zone. More air is spun into the yarn, and it is loftier and usually fuzzier.


Semi-worsted is using the worsted spinning technique, but not combed fibers. An example would be spinning carded roving worsted style. It will fall somewhere between the two main styles.


Semi-woolen uses the woolen spinning technique, on combed fibers. Again, it will fall between woolen and worsted.

Garnetted or Garbage Yarn

This yarn is made by either using scraps of fabric or yarn or making your own. All of the scraps should be 3 inches or less on all sides. Either run them through a drum carder or card using hand cards until all of the scraps are reduced down to threads or fiber, then card together with wool. I recommend wool over other fibers because wool has the best elasticity. I think a tight 2-ply is best for this fiber because it will hold in the threads better.

Boucle Yarn

First spin a tight single, then a loose single. Ply in the direction of the twist of the singles, letting the looser single build loops on the tighter single. Then take a third single, fine and tight, and ply it with the loopy 2-ply in the opposite direction of the twist.

Spiral Yarn

Spin a thin tight single and a thick loose single, and ply them. The loose single will form a slight spiral around the thin single. The effect can be made more-so by holding the thick single at an angle while plying.

Knotted Yarn

This is a 2-ply. While plying, at intervals, hold one single at a 90% angle to the other to allow the ply to build up as a lump. Ply as usual for a space, then repeat the lump.

Cabled Yarn

Cabled yarn is made by "cabling" different plies. A standard 4 ply would be done by spining 4 z-singles, Plying them into 2 s-plied 2-plies, and plying those yarns into one z-ply.

Crewel Spinning

Winding a Ball of Yarn

Noil Yarn

Navaho Plying

From the Fold

to be continued....