Fibre Characteristics Deep Dive: Blends

13 March 2024
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Each of the fibres I’ve explored with you over the past year has its own unique set of characteristics that brings something special to our crafting. We tend to use each of these fibres on their own, but sometimes, to meet a specific project requirement, we need to mix and match and make something completely different. Sometimes we need a fibre blend.

This is the final installment in a series of articles by Michelle Boyd about the fibres we use in yarn and cloth.

You can find the other articles in the series at the links below:

Wool

Cotton, Linen and Hemp

Silk

Luxury Fibres

Synthetics

Generally, fibre blends are chosen to add strength to a yarn, such as blending nylon with wool to make sock yarn that will withstand the abrasion of being walked on. But fibres may be blended for other reasons, too. Fibre blends can make a fabric more easily washable; blends can increase the amount of yarn or cloth that can be made from a batch of fibre; or blends can make a luxurious fibre more affordable for consumers. Because blending fibres can be done for a wide variety of reasons, understanding the characteristics of each fibre can help us understand the potential characteristics of each blend.

All photos by Michelle Boyd.

Copyright © Michelle Boyd except as indicated.

About Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd is a Master Spinner, weaver, and writer who lives in Olds, Alberta, located in Treaty 7 Territory, the ancestral lands of the peoples of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Michelle learned to spin in 1995 when her local yarn shop closed, and she became obsessed with the art and science of making yarn. She has taught workshops across North America and instructed for the Olds College Master Spinner Program for fifteen years. She is also a frequent contributor to both PLY Magazine and Digits & Threads and is currently completing her first book about spinning.

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