Cooler weather has arrived throughout most of the country. For those of you fortunate, or unfortunate, enough to need your wool sweater, you may find it is actually made of worsted wool. Just what happens to wool that makes it worsted? But before we go into that, it’s important to note why worsted wool is such a great fabric.
A worsted wool fabric is tighter and stronger than other wool fabrics. It can hold its shape, has a fine drape and keep a crease. It is much smoother. For those reasons, many garments are now made with worsted wool.
The difference between worsted wool and other spun wool starts in the earliest stage of preparing the yarn. Both worsted and spun wools are carded. Imagine two blocks of wood with tiny pins on one side. The wool is placed between the two blocks and the blocks are pulled in opposite directions. This process untangles the wool and places the fibers alongside each other. It also removes any debris that may have gotten embedded into the wool.
Next, and this happens only to worsted wool, the fibers are combed. Imagine two sets of long, metal teeth. One holds the wool while the other is swiped through the bundle. This pulls the fibers into alignment even further than the carding and removes short and brittle fibers. The wool staple must be over four inches long in order to be spun into worsted wool yarn. It also removes additional debris.
Now the long staples are ready to be spun. Because of the combing and carding process, the fibers can be spun much more tightly than other woolens. David Morgan sells several worsted wool sweaters. You can find them at the links below:
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