What is spinning & weaving?

Spinning and weaving are two of the skills that have gone into fabric creation for as long as humans have been working wool. They’re both skills you can try at home, as part of your crafting hobby, but first you’ll need to understand what they are and how they work!

Spinning

Spinning is the process used to turn fibres into thread or yarn that can be worked into sheets of textiles and used to make clothes, tools or decorations. The easiest material to work with is raw wool (and it could well be the most easily available, depending on your location).

To prepare, you need the raw wool to be washed to remove excess oils, and then combed or carded, so all the fibres point in the same direction. In this state it’s known as ‘roving’. You can then use a spindle to wind the roving into a long, thin strand of taught, tight woollen thread with which you can sew or weave.

Weaving

This is one of the main methods for producing large quantities of fabric to make clothing. It’s still used today on an automated, industrial scale.

Weaving is, specifically the process of making cloth by interlacing two strands of yarn at right angles. The warp is the lengthways strand, secured onto the frame of a loom, while the weft is the horizontal strand, which weaves through it. By varying the colour, texture and even material of the yarn, you can create different designs in resulting fabric. At home, you could loom coasters, blankets, or even wall hangings!

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