Sunday, March 04, 2012

More on how I spin

Fiber gets combed, and then I diz off using a diz with a 3/32" or 1/16" hole.  

The sliver goes into a bin, and I wind it tail first on to my distaff. The sliver takes on 1 twist per wrap of the distaff, which holds it together.

I take the fiber off the distaff over its end, so it loses its twist and is ready to draft.

The sliver going into my drafting hand is much thicker than the tip of the sliver being drafted.  Tension on the sliver between my drafting hand and the distaff holds the fibers in alignment.

With the fiber approaching the drafting zone in close alignment, no "inch worm" drafting is required.  Fibers simply draft in what is very like a continuous attenuated long draw.  I use a very long drafting zone. Where there is a problem with the fiber prep, I may need to "back draft" a bit to maintain consistent grist. However, with good fiber prep, neither hand needs to move much, and the process is as fast as twist can be inserted, and the yarn wound on.  Since the maximum speed of  fliers on a treadled wheel is about 3,600 rpm, the limit for spinning 6,000 ypp  is ~ 12.5 yards per minute, and the limit for 12,000 ypp is just over 6 y/hr.  That means a good days spinning (on a flier) is about 5,000 yards per day for 6,000 ypp and 2,500 yards per day for 12,000 ypp worsted single. ( Actually, my rule of thumb is a hank (560 yards) every 2 hours regardless of grist.) If I want to go faster, I will get a motor spinner or a driven spindle.

All of this depends on having a bobbin flier assembly with the correct effective bobbin core diameter and differential rotation speed to insert the correct twist per inch of take up.

The flier/bobbin assemblies as they came from Amos had a differential rotation speed (DRS) of ~ 1.15 for spinning long draw woolen.  I made new bobbins with DRS in the range of 1.07 to 1.01 for spinning fine worsted singles.

This approach results in a very high quality worsted yarn, and it is very fast.  With well prepped fiber, 2,000 yards per day of 12,000 ypp worsted singles is easy.

The technique is easy, but you need to plan your tools to make it work.  

Oh, and I have moved to using grease rather than oil on my flier/bobbin assemblies. Grease stands up to the speeds I am spinning at better than oil.   I still use oil on the drive wheel and crank.

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