Combed Top – Fibre that has been put through a combing machine to remove short fibres and entanglements, while aligning the fibres parallel ready for worsted spinning.
Hank – Another name for a Skein. A loop of continuous yarn that is usually twisted together for presentation. For ease of use yarn in hank form should be wound into a ball before using.
Spinning – The process of making yarn by drawing out, twisting, and winding fibres into a singles yarn.
Ring Spinning – A spinning process in which the fibre is drawn out by drafting rollers, then, while passing through a small travelling device which moves rapidly around a ring, is twisted before being wound onto a bobbin as a singles yarn.
Ring Spinning Frame – Is a spinning machine with spindles on each side of the frame. Above these are drafting rollers, and on top of the rollers is a creel on which sits bobbins of roving. The roving passes downwards from the bobbins to the drafting rollers. The back roller steadies the incoming thread, while the front rollers rotate faster pulling the roving out and making the fibres more parallel. The rollers are individually adjusted.
The attenuated roving now passes through a thread guide that is adjusted so it is centred above the spindle. Thread guides are on a thread rail, which allows them to be hinged out of the way for fixing broken threads. The roving passes down to the spindle assembly, which it is threaded through a small D ring called a ‘traveller’. The traveller moves around a large ring. It is this ring that gives the ring frame its name. From here the thread is attached to the spindle.
The traveller and the spindle rotate at different speeds. The spindle is being driven around with the traveller dragging behind. A bobbin is slid over the spindle and fixed. Thread is then wound onto the bobbin, while at the same time being twisted by the traveller. It is the difference in drag that creates different spinning speeds. The ring rail moves up and down guiding the thread onto the bobbin into the required shape. This movement is adjusted for different yarn counts.
Spinning/Yarn Count – Is the fineness to which a yarn is spun. Traditionally counted as the number of hanks of 560yds each in length to 1 pound of top. Thus 1 pound of fine top will spin 64 hanks and is therefore called 64s. In Australia we use the terms TEX or Nm (New Metric) for yarn count.
Semi-worsted – Yarn that is spun on an open spinning machine, from carded fibre which has been put through a gilling machine. The fibre has not been combed or put through a roving machine.
Singles – A single strand of twisted fibre. Singles are always plural, even though there is only ever one strand.
Top – Fibre that has been put through a combing machine, which pulls it into a long continuous strand. See Combed Top.
Twisting – Another name for plying. The process of taking multiple singles and twisting them together in the opposite direction to that in which they were spun.
Winding – Refers to winding the finished yarn onto a bobbin.
Worsted – Refers to the process used to produce a smoother, more even and stronger yarn, than woollen spun yarn. Spun from long fibres, which are combed into parallel lines with all irregularities removed, then tightly twisted in the spinning process.
Made from suitable fibres whose length is between 52mm and 120mm. Worsted yarns are usually plied yarns and tend to be finer and more tightly twisted than woollen yarns.