Hand spun yarns for weaving?
Hand spun yarns for weft threads pose no problems, in fact they can add texture to cloth. However, warp yarns -they run the length of the cloth and go through both heddles and reeds - need to be tightly spun and strong. This is because they have to withstand the tension and the constant movement of heddles and reeds. A fluffy yarn would rapidly wear and break.
Warp yarns are normally spun in a worsted format - that is the fibres are prepared so that they are spun the length of the fibre. Most spinners spin semi-worsted yarn - some of the fibres are spun straight, most are spun from the middle of the fibre - this results in fibre ends sticking out from the spun thread. Woollen spun yarn is where all the fibre ends stick out from the spun thread.
Most modern single or multi shaft looms cannot be tensioned to the same level as commercial looms but on both hand craft and commercial looms the wear and tear of weaving puts great demands on the warp threads.
The Ashford Knitter’s Loom has been designed specifically to use hand spun or knitting yarns. The material it weaves is not tightly woven - like suiting - but lightly woven - like soft scarves or jackets. This weaving method means that the cloth traps air and this in turn makes the cloth light and warm.
Calculating Warp and Weft Yarns.
Having decided the design of you cloth you will need to know what length of warp and weft you require. No problem if you have a yarn store, big problem if you run out of yarn before the project is completely woven.
Sue has produced a Craftlet that enables you to calculate warp and weft lengths that is very straightforward to use. Click here to request a copy of the Warp and Weft Calculator.
Sue can supply packs of yarn for your loom. Please talk to Sue to discuss your requirements she needs to know what reed you have available to use.