Types of processed wool


When wool is processed for use by the spinner, it ends up in many different forms. Each of these has its own advantages, history, and best methods of spinning.
  • batt or batting: Produced by use of a drum carder, this is a very versatile form of preparation. It's shape is rectangular, and in this form it can be overlapped at it's edges to be used as quilt batting. It can be spun worsted OR woolen, or easily felted. The fibers run lengthwise.
    batt/woolen To spin it woolen, one needs to pull it into sections width-wise. Cutting would ruin much of the fiber. After pulling it into strips, one can roll it into rolags.
    batt/worsted To spin the batt semi-worsted, one needs to pull it into strips lengthwise. One can just simply pull it into strips from one end to the other, or one can tear it in a manner so as to make a continuous strip. It is also possible to just rip it into pieces length-wise and spin from each piece.

  • cloud or fluffy cloud: Prepared by carding on the hand cards, and removed from the cards in a cloud instead of rolled into rolags.

  • combed lock: Processed using a comb or combs, and usually spun worsted, it can also be spun "from the fold", folded over the finger to be spun semi-woolen. This method works best with longer-stapled wool. It produces "top", eliminating short and weak fibers, and hopefuly most of the trash. Can be drawn through a diz to produce roving.

  • flicked lock: Processed using a flick carder, and usually spun worsted, it can also be spun "from the fold", folded over the finger to be spun semi-woolen. Can be drawn through a diz to produce roving.

  • pencil roving: Roving of a thinner diameter, easy to spin without further preparation.

  • rolag: Usually produced by carding with hand-cards, then rolled so that the fibers run perpendicular or width-wise, it is spun woolen, and is the only preparation for spinning "true woolen". It resembles a wooly worm.

  • roving: Roving is a rope made of fibers that are less parallel and more randomly arranged than top. It is made of carded fibers, and is usually torn off in pieces and separated into smaller ropes to spin semi-worsted or semi-woolen.

  • top: Used to describe fibers which have been combed to remove weak and short fibers as well as trash, and pulled into a rope. The fibers are mostly parallel. Used to spin "true worsted".


to be continued...

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