Twists Per Inch by Amanda Berka

Twist is what holds fiber together. We use it every time we spin, and still twist perplexes us. Some (or maybe even most) of us don’t pay that much attention to the amount of twist we put into our yarn. We just spin and end up with the amount of twist we end up with. We might know we need more twist for fine wools or silk. Generally short staples need more twist than longer staples, but more is such a relative term. Fat yarns require less twist than thin yarns but how much less? The answers depend. They depend on the fiber being spun, the fiber preparation (carded or combed), the drafting method (short or long draw), and the desired result. We are tactile and feel what is right. But if we ever want to re-create our yarns or describe them to others, it’s important that we can record a yarn’s twist properties in a meaningful way.

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