How to make handspun yarns – Fibers and tools for handspinning

How to make handspun yarns – Fibers and tools for handspinning


Hi, I’m Stefania and I’m here to talk to you about the Lanivendole project. It started years ago in Genova and was inspired by the international Fiber art movement. Our idea is to create artistic yarns starting from the wool fibres and mixing them with other materials as well. After a bit of practice with these basic techniques, you can continue exploring and go on to create really unique and characteristic artistic yarns. In this video we’ll start by finding out how to create a handspun yarn, the starting points are the materials and the equipment. To begin with we’ll use wool fibres combed which are the easiest and most suitable for beginners. They can be dyed or used as its natural color. In this way, the fibres are already combed and lined up in the direction of the length. For the spinning, simply divide the sliver into strips and gently open the wool fibres which are clumped together. This is so you can measure it out better when we have to stretch them out to form the thread. Carded rugs with the drum carder and rolags, that is, cotton balls rolled up and shaped with carding brushes are an alternative to slivers and can be bought or hand-made and are also suitable for starting this adventure. On the market you can also find pencil roving, in other words, drawn approximately to the thickness of a finger, which can be dyed in sequence of colour so that they blend in easily with the spinning, or with colors put near each other throughout the threads. Other forms are carded layers, where the fibres are placed one on top of the other in different directions. To begin with this is the trickiest material as the fibres are short and difficult to work with when you have no experience. We will analyze the carding equipment in a dedicated chapter. Even using these wool shapes, in order to be able to spin them, we have to divide them into quantities that can easily fit in the palm of your hand and unravel the fibres gently so it is easier to manage them. To shape our yarn we will need a spinning wheel or a wheel to spin. There are many models on the market, but the essential features on which to base your choice on, obviously, in addition to cost and appearance that it has two pedals, the size and shape of the opening hole to feed through the fibre, the capacity of the bobbin and the overall bulkiness of the spinning wheel. We will see two essential parts. The head of the spinning wheel: where the bobbin is placed with the yarn, the hooks are at the sides of the fly wheel to move the point where the yarn coils around the bobbin so as to fill it evenly. At the front or behind the bobbin you can find the brake which determines the strength with which the thread is taken from the bobbin. Transmission mechanism: Each spinner has a band of rubber or other material that is used to transmit the movement by pedaling to move the wheel round all the way to the fly-wheel that holds the bobbin. You will see one or more grooves, both on the wheel and on the head, these are gears that just like for bicycles, alter the number of spins per pedal allowing you to create thicker or thinner yarns.

1 thought on “How to make handspun yarns – Fibers and tools for handspinning

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *