Video lesson


Spinning is a twisting technique to form yarn from fibers. The fiber intended is drawn out, twisted, and wound onto a bobbin. A few popular fibers that are spun into yarn other than cotton, which is the most popular, are viscose (the most common form of rayon), animal fibers such as wool, and synthetic polyester. Originally done by hand using a spindle whorl, starting in the 500s AD the spinning wheel became the predominant spinning tool across Asia and Europe. The spinning jenny and spinning mule, invented in the late 1700s, made mechanical spinning far more efficient than spinning by hand, and especially made cotton manufacturing one of the most important industries of the Industrial Revolution.




Traditional spinner in her family’s house in Old Bagan, Myanmar (2019).

The yarn issuing from the drafting rollers passes through a thread-guide, round a traveller that is free to rotate around a ring, and then onto a tube or bobbin, which is carried on to a spindle, the axis of which passes through a center of the ring. The spindle is driven (usually at an angular velocity that is either constant or changes only slowly), and the traveller is dragged around a ring by the loop of yarn passing round it. If the drafting rollers were stationary, the angular velocity of the traveller would be the same as that of the spindle, and each revolution of the spindle would cause one turn of a twist to be inserted in the loop of yarn between the roller nip and the traveller. In spinning, however, the yarn is continually issuing from the rollers of the drafting system and, under these circumstances, the angular velocity of the traveller is less than that of the spindle by an amount that is just sufficient to allow the yarn to be wound onto the bobbin at the same rate as that at which it issues from the drafting rollers.


Each revolution of the traveller now inserts one turn of twist into the loop of yarn between the roller nip and the traveller but, in equilibrium, the number of turns of twist in the loop of yarn remains constant as the twisted yarn is passing through the traveller at a corresponding rate.


Types of fibre

Artificial fibres are made by extruding a polymer through a spinneret into a medium where it hardens. Wet spinning (rayon) uses a coagulating medium. In dry spinning (acetate and triacetate), the polymer is contained in a solvent that evaporates in the heated exit chamber. In melt spinning (nylons and polyesters) the extruded polymer is cooled in gas or air and sets.[2] All these fibres will be of great length, often kilometers long.


Natural fibres can be devided into three categories: animals (sheep, goat, rabbit, silkworm), minerals (asbestos, gold, silver[3]), or plants (cotton, flax, sisal). These vegetable fibres can come from the seed (cotton), the stem (known as bast fibres: they include flax, hemp, and jute) or the leaf (sisal).[4] Many processes are needed before a clean even staple is obtained. With the exception of silk, each of these fibres is short, only centimetres in length, and each has a rough surface that enables it to bond with similar staples.


Artificial fibres can be processed as long fibres or batched and cut so they can be processed like a natural fibre.