Basic Textile Spinning Terms

Mar 26, 2016 |

Basic Terms in Textile Spinning

Blow room Lap

The Loose strand, roughly parallel, untwisted fiber sheet produced
in blow room.

Chute feed system

It is a system of feeding small tufts of fibers directly from blow
room to a series of cards, arranged in a circuit through pneumatic pipe.


The strand of loose, roughly parallel, untwisted fibers produced in Carding.


The soft strand of carded/combed fibres that has been twisted, attenuated,
and freed of foreign matter, which is a feed material to spinning.


The process of making yarns from the textile fiber is called spinning.
Spinning is the twisting together of drawn out strands of fibers to form yarn

Yarn Count/Sliver Hank

Yarn count is the numerical expression of yarn, which defines its fineness or
coarseness. (Linear density).

Yarn count system:

Indirect system: English count (Ne), Worsted Count etc.
i.e. Higher the yarn number, finer the yarn.

Direct System: Tex, Denier
i.e. Higher the yarn number , Coarser the yarn.

Similarly numerical expression of fineness or coarseness of Lap, sliver & roving are
called Hank.
Note: English (Ne) count system is commonly followed in India.
English Count: No. of Hanks of length 840 yds weighing in 1 pound
1yds: 0.9144mtrs
1lbs: 0.453 Kgs.
e.g. 40s Ne = 40 hanks of 840 yds weighs 1 lbs.
20s Ne = 20 hanks of 840 yds weighs 1 lbs.


carded hunks of fiber as it comes off of a drum carder bench – also called the table. The table of the spinning wheel on which the wheel and spinning mechanism are mounted bobbin – the shaft of the spool onto which the spun yarn is wound on a spinning wheel


(or cards) a pair of brushes used to smooth and straighten fibers for spinning


used to process long stapled wool for worsted spinning


a staff that holds the flax or wool fibers which are drawn from as the spinner needs them when spinning. A distaff can be attached to a belt, mounted on the bench of a spinning wheel, or free-standing.


the pulling out of fibers to allow only a certain amount of the fiber to twist into thread

drafting triangle

the space between the spun yarn and the fibers being drawn out

drive band

the cord carrying the power from the large wheel to the spindle or bobbin/pulley

drop spindle

(handspindle) a stick with a weighted whorl that is used to twist fibers into thread

the u-shaped device on a treadle spinning wheel that twists the yarn


the straight piece of wood or wire that connects the treadle to the axle/crank of a spinning wheel


a 560-yard long skein of wool, usually wound on a niddy-noddy or reel


a 40-yard strand skein of yarn wound on a reel or a niddy-noddy that measures 2 yards in circumference = 80 yards


(or sisters) two upright pieces of wood that hold the spinning apparatus in a horizontal position


usually, the entire spinning mechanism on a spinning wheel; maidens, flyer and bobbin


double-headed tool used in skeining spun yarn


short fibers removed when combing the fleece; can be mixed with other wool and carded and spun


the opening or eye of the spindle on a treadle spinning wheel

pencil roving

thinner strips of roving roughly the diameter of a pencil


finger sized roll of carded wool, ready for spinning to make woolen yarn


long tubes of carded wool, produced by carding machines


yarn spun with a counterclockwise twist


winding yarn off the spindle


strips of batts in one continuous strip


the flaw or fat place in the yarn (sometimes intentionally spun in for novelty yarns) Note: the length of a slub cannot be longer than the staple of a fiber

spindle pulley

the small grooved whorl that carries the drive band connecting the spindle to the drive wheel


a bundle of flax prepared for spinning after the tow has been removed (long fibers only)


long fibers straightened by combing


the short fibers left after flax is combed out


the weighted part of a dropspindle that helps it to spin. Also the spindle pulley that regulates the speed of a spinning wheel spindle


made from long-stapled wool where the fibers are combed lengthwise and spun from cut end to tip in apparel-type fashion; has a firm finish and does not usually felt (i.e. most tweeds, suit or jacket material)

Z or S twist

yarn spun with a clockwise spin with Z twist

Posted in: Textile Spinning

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