April 28, 2014

Bambu yarn twist

Written by Fiber Rhythm

Another customer question I thought I would share.  
Q: I’m a weaver and interested in your yarns. For weaving the “twist” of yarns is important. What is the twist of your bamboo yarns?

A: This question can be very important for both weavers and knitters.  If the yarn is a single ply, the twist can make a knitted sample lean one direction or another– you can end up with a skewed parallelogram rather than a square or rectangle.  For weavers, the light and shadow can change the fabric drastically– creating a crepe when none was intended.

When this question came up for the bamboo yarn we carry (Silk City Fiber’s Bambu 7 and Bambu 12) I decided to take a closeup of the yarn and split the ends a bit so that we could see it better.  You can zoom in on the photo to see the strands even better.  (The dime and threaded needle are there for scale)

In the photo the red yarn is Bambu 7 (this yarn gets wound with another strand for our Double Bambu).  It is made up of 6 ‘S” twist yarns, plied  together with the opposite twist (‘Z’).  The yellow yarn is Bambu 12.  It is made up of 2 ‘S’ twist yarns, plied together with the ‘Z’ twist.
Spinning a yarn in one direction and then plying with another is a fairly common technique used to counteract the tendency of yarn to pull in one direction or another in whatever project you are doing.
The other factor for this discussion is how tightly the yarn is spun and plied.  The bamboo we carry has a soft twist– not too tight.  I have seen this vary a bit over the years– most likely as our supplier changed their manufacturing vendors.
Hope this helps folks!

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