Wednesday, January 07, 2015

AA spinning oil

Alden is a great one for CLEAN textiles.

His spinning oil has a secret advantage - it helps clean the fiber.

Apply his spinning oil (mix olive oil, soap, and water), spin, and wash; and, the yarn will be cleaner with less effort than with any other process that I know.

I have some beautiful Rambouillet from Anne Harvey. I can wash the fiber, spin, and wash to produce a nice white yarn.  However, when I wash, oil with AA's spinning oil (Big Blue Book - page 369) , spin, and wash, the resulting yarn is much cleaner and more beautiful.

It is a matter of degree - you need to process samples both ways, and directly compare them, but when you do, the difference is distinct.  I had been oiling and spinning this fiber, and loading it onto bobbins and prins.  I had to have a sample that missed oiling to see how much better the spinning oil made the finished yarn.

It is little things like this that make me appreciate Alden Amos as a fountain of spinning wisdom.

Yes, there are lots of fancy. expensive wool washes for sale, but there are very few good spinning oils for sale. And, spinning fine is better with oiled fiber, so you do need a spinning oil.  Thus, you might as well use a spinning oil that does other useful things also.  


purplespirit1 said...

so the baby oil is added after the olive oil, then? That doesn't sound greasy at all.

Aaron said...

The spinning oil is washed out when the object is washed and blocked. The baby oil is added to the rinse after the wash. Not greasy at all.

Or under some conditions, one would wash the spinning oil out of the yarn prior to knitting. The object still needs to be blocked, and that is a good time to a couple of drops of baby oil.

Of course, if you are knitting for a real fisherman, the object will need to be treated with lanolin. However, most sweaters are not designed to protect a seamen while he waits for the Coast Guard, and putting lanolin on them would diminish the object.