Natural fibres—cotton, flax, silk, and wool—represent the major fibres available to ancient civilizations.
The earliest known samples of yarn and fabric of any kind were found near Robenhausen, Switzerland, where bundles of flax fibres and yarns and fragments of plain-weave linen fabric, were estimated to be about 7,000 years old.
Until about 1300, yarn was spun on the spindle and whorl.
A spindle is a rounded stick with tapered ends to which the fibres are attached and twisted; a whorl is a weight attached to the spindle that acts as a flywheel to keep the spindle rotating.
The fibres were pulled by hand from a bundle of carded fibres tied to a stick called a distaff. In hand carding, fibres are placed between two boards covered with leather, through which protrude fine wire hooks that catch the fibres as one board is pulled gently across the other.
Yarn consists of several strands of material twisted together. Each strand is, in turn, made of fibres, all shorter than the piece of yarn that they form.
These short fibres are spun into longer filaments to make the yarn.
Long continuous strands may only require additional twisting to make them into yarns.
Sometimes they are put through an additional process called texturing.
The characteristics of spun yarn depend, in part, on the amount of twist given to the fibres during spinning. A fairly high degree of twist produces strong yarn; a low twist produces softer, more lustrous yarn; and a very tight twist produces crepe yarn. Yarns are also classified by their number of parts. A single yarn is made from a group of filament or staple fibres twisted together. Ply yarns are made by twisting two or more single yarns. Cord yarns are made by twisting together two or more ply yarns.
Automation has made achieving quality easier, with electronics controlling operations, temperatures, speeds, twists, and efficiency.
We make sure to follow standardized methods for determining such properties as draw force, bulk, and shrinkage established by The American Society for Testing of Materials.
Yarn is used to make textiles using a variety of processes, including weaving, knitting, and felting.
About 15 different types of fibres are used to make yarn.
These fibres fall into two categories, natural and synthetic
Natural fibres are those that are obtained from a plant or an animal and are mainly used in weaving textiles.
The most abundant and commonly used plant fibre is cotton, gathered from the cotton seed pod when it is mature.
Fibres taken from the plant leaf or stern are generally used for rope.
Other plant fibres include acetate (made from wood pulp or cotton linters) and linen, made from flax, a vegetable fibre.
Animal fibres include wool, made from sheep hair, and mohair, made from angora goats and rabbits.
Silk is a protein extruded in long, continuous strands by the silkworm as it weaves its cocoon.