All about Fibres

Another fantastic page to explain all the wonderful fibres available to use in your crafting projects. Whether its weaving, spinning, needle felting or knitting, you can read about the best fibres and their characteristics right here.

Types of fibre for weaving, spinning and more

Fibre definition

Fibre refers to any type of thing that can be spun into a thread or yarn. It encompasses everything from horsehair to dryer lint. If it can be made into yarn, you can call it Fibre.

Alpaca

Angora Fibre is plucked or clipped from an angora rabbit. English, French, Giant, and Satin are common varieties. Their wool is super fine and silky and very warm. This is a luxury Fibre and higher cost, so it is often mixed with wool or another Fibre.

A animal from the camelid family that look like a llama and are native to South America. Their Fibre is silky soft and extremely warm.

Find our Alpaca fibre here
Angelina

The trade name for man-made plastic fibre of flat film nature which has a luminescent appearance

Find our Angelina Fibre here
Cashmere

Fibre that comes from goats which is very fine (less than about 18 microns) and is considered a luxury Fibre because it is relatively hard to find.

Cellulose Fibre

A Fibre made from the cell walls of some plants, such as hemp, cotton, and ramie.

Corriedale

Corriedale wool has a defined, even crimp and is smooth and easy to spin or felt. You can spin a fine to medium woollen, worsted or semi-worsted yarn. Corriedale will bulk after washing and has good elasticity. It is ideal for baby wear, woven, knitted, crocheted or felted garments

Find Corriedale Here
Domestic Wool

Domestic Wool is wool that has been produced in your own country as opposed to being imported from elsewhere.

Filament

Fibre of extreme lengths such as silk which is a natural filament or man-made Fibres like nylon and polyester

Fine wool

This is any wool with a micron count of 18 – 24 or a Bradford Count of less than 64.

Flax / Linen

A Fibre that is made from a plant and is spun into threads which we call linen.  It can be spun wet or dry.

See our Linen Fibre
Fleece

The wool off one sheep is a fleece.  In the grease is an unwashed fleece and a cleaned or washed fleece has had the lanolin removed.

Gray Wool

White wool that has some dark Fibres, or in naturally coloured sheep many dark Fibres.

Guard Hair

Hairs in a fleece that are course and stiff.  The usually protrude from the main fleece and are undesirable in large numbers.

Lamb’s Wool

The first shearing from the sheep, usually before one year.

Linen

A yarn or fabric that has been made from Fibres from the flax plant.

See our Linen Fibre Here
Lock

A bunch of Fibre that naturally holds together in one wave or curl, usually from the grease in the wool

Long Wool

Wools that are longer, from 8 inches or more and are taken from long wool breeds such as Lincoln long-wools, Wensleydale or other breeds that produce very long staple lengths.

Merino

Australian Merino wool is the world’s finest and softest wool in the world. Its natural benefits are so great that no other fibre – natural or man-made – can match it.

Find our Merino FIbre
Mohair

Long and shiny locks of Fibre that are harvested from the Angora goat.  These Fibres from a young goat (kid mohair) are silky soft and perfect for fine garments.  The courser Fibres from older animals are great for garments, rugs, and sock yarn.  The Fibre added in 25% amounts will make the roving draft very easily and lend a shiny lustre to the finished yarn.

Novelty Yarns

Yarns with a lumpy – bumpy texture, pieces of ribbon or other non-traditional appearance.  These are quite popular and can make some fun projects

Find Our Novelty Fibres
Nylon

A man made material that is often added to sock yarn to give greater durability.  It can be knitted in with a separate strand, or yarns can be purchased with this already mixed in

Plied Yarns

When you spin a bobbin of Fibre you have a single spun yarn.  When this is spun again with a second third or more singles in the opposite direction the singles were first spun, it is a plied yarn.  Plied yarns have less pilling and are also more durable, particularly for knitted garments.

Polyester

A man-made Fibre that can be knitted in or blended in to increase strength of the yarn.

Primitive sheep / wool

These sheep are less domesticated and are more primitive. Their wools are often double coated, they have a courser longer Fibre and a finer soft undergrowth of Fibre.  Shetlands and Icelandic’s can both carry this type of fleece, and they are also a primitive type sheep.  These sheep can also have single coat fleeces as well.

Protein Fibres

Fibres derived from animals, such as wool or silk, and some plant Fibres such as soy silk.  These Fibres are dyed with acid dyes and a great way to test if your Fibre is protein or cellulose is to try dying it with Kool Aid.  Cellulose like cotton will not take up any of the dye, some plant Fibres will dye with Kool Aid, such as soy silk.  Always test first with a small sample!!!

Purebred

An animal with both parents of the same breed, usually these animals are resisted with a breed association, to prove they are purebred

Quarter Blood Wool / Sheep

Usually refers to a fleece or sheep that is one quarter Merino.

Raw Silk

Fibres that have been degummed and taken off the silk cocoon, but not spun yet.

Raw wool

Wool that is still “in the grease” as in not washed or scoured. It is in its natural condition; not refined or processed.

Rayon

A man-made Fibre that drapes nicely and has a soft feel.

Reclaimed Wool

Wool that has been recycled from old garments or cloth. You can often buy a wool sweater at a thrift shop and unravel it, then re-knit it into another garment.

Second Cuts

When the shearer cuts an already cut Fibre twice accidentally or through carelessness.  These little clumps of short Fibres will make very undesirable balls in the yarn and greatly increase pilling in the finished garment.

Slubby Yarn

When the shearer cuts an already cut Fibre twice accidentally
or through carelessness. These little clumps of short Fibres will make very undesirable balls in the yarn and greatly increase pilling in the finished garment.

Space Dyed Yarns

Yarns with irregular areas of colours, like hand-painted yarns.

Spinner's Fleece

A fleece that is at least 2 inches long, but not more than 4 inches, and has very little vegetable matter.  These can be longer than four inches, but from 2-4 is the easiest to spin, but this is variable, and the term may apply to fleeces that are longer than four inches, depending on the breed of the sheep.

Superfine Wool

Wool measuring from 15-18 microns, these have been developed from careful breeding of merino sheep.

Tussah silk

Silk grown from worms naturally (wild) cultivated.

Find Tussah Silk Here