Fibres are natural or man-made substances that are used for making yarns. Some common fibres that are generally used to make yarns are wool, cotton, silkworms, etc. These fibres are interlocked to make a continuous length of it called yarn. Yarn, in simpler words, is a longer length of intertwined and interlocked fibres. Yarns are used in the process of textile, weaving, sewing, embroidering, ropemaking, crocheting, etc. You must have seen a thread roll. Yes, that thread roll is also a yarn which is used in sewing machines for sewing clothes. Different types of yarns are produced for a different purpose. For crocheting, a different type of yarn is used, a more woolly kind, while for embroidery, another different kind of yarn is used, not everything but also not very thick like wool.
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Yarns are generally made by spinning the fibres into yarn machines. These are made from both natural and man-made fibres. Most natural fibres are generally short in length, and that is why man-made or synthetic fibres were produced as they are of great length which makes it more conducive to spinning. Spinning is the process of taking out fibres from their sources and twisting and locking them to give them that interlocked texture. Filament yarns or the synthetic ones require more twisting than the natural ones. The quality of the yarn depends on the number of twists produced. Therefore, higher the number of twists, stronger is the yarn produced.
A wide variety of fibres are used to create yarns that we used for sewing, crocheting, weaving, etc. The most common fibre used for creating yarn is cotton that is produced from the cotton plants. These are very famous in the textile industry. Egyptian cotton, American cotton, and Pima cotton are one of the most famous types of cotton that are used for making yarn. Next common source of fibre for yarn manufacturing is the sheep. Wool is extracted from the sheep and spun into woollen yarn. The two most famous types of wool extracted from sheep are the Merino and Lopi wool type.
Another famous source for wool is the alpaca. Alpaca’s wool has very different characteristics from the wool extracted from sheep. When we talk about yarn fibre, we cannot forget silk. Yarn of silk is manufactured by extracting the silk produced by the larvae of the silkworm. The finest silk is produced by Bombyx mori, also known as the Mulberry silkworms. Today moth caterpillars are also used for producing silk. You must have seen a rope, right? Ropes are manufactured from the yarn produced by the hemp fibres. Hemp fibres are used in the fabrics and textiles industry. Synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon and polyester are also used to produce yarns.
Apart from classifying yarns on the basis of their source of fibres, we can also classify the types of yarns on the basis of the number of twists or the number of strands there are.
Single Yarns: Single yarns, also known as one-ply, are yarns that consist of a single strand that holds fibres together with the least amount of twists. In the case of filaments, there is either the use of one filament (called monofilament) or more than one filament that is grouped together with the least amount of twist or even no twist. S-twist or Z-twist is more common in this type.
Ply Yarns: Ply yarns, also known as folded yarns, are made by twisted two or more single yarns together. A two-ply yarn is made by twisting two single strands together. A three-ply yarn is made by twisting three single strands together. The texture is harder than usual, and the final yarn produced is firmer.
Cord Yarns: Cord yarns are made by twisting ply yarns together. Cords usually follow the SZS twists. The cord yarns are used to make ropes or cables, etc.
Novelty Yarns: Novelty yarns are those yarns that are produced by applying special effects like slubs. Slubs is the intentional inclusion of lumps into the yarn to give a different and special look.
Textured Yarns: Textured yarns are usually the ones made from synthetic fibres. Texturizing the synthetic fibres work on the characteristics of transparency, colour, patterns, etc.
1. What is a single yarn? What are synthetic fibres?
Single yarns, also known as one-ply, are yarns that consist of a single strand that holds fibres together with the least amount of twists. In the case of filaments, there is either the use of one filament (called monofilament) or more than one filament that is grouped together with the least amount of twist or even no twist. S-twist or Z-twist is more common in this type.
Synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon and polyester are also used to produce yarns. These man-made fibres are generally made from cellulose derived from wood or plant pulp. Synthetic fibre yarns give us the advantage of a wide variety of colours, being waterproof, stain-resistant, and more durable.
2. How are fabrics created from yarns?
The first step in the creation of a fabric is the production of yarn. You need to decide what material you want to use for your fabric. If it is cotton, you need to use cotton fibres to spun cotton yarns. Raw materials like cotton, wool, rayon, silk are transformed into yarns and threads by spinning.
After the raw materials have been transformed into yarns, the next step is to join these yarn threads to form the fabric. This is done by the process of weaving. Weaving is carried out on a loom, where two sets of yarns are used to weave a fabric.
The next and final step is processing. After weaving, the woven material is moved for its final transformation where it is cleaned off its impurities like seed particles etc. and various chemicals are removed, and the color is added.