Naturally American, Farm to Fashion
With our sophisticated equipment, we are able to produce yarn to the specifications of any fashion designer.
Blending fibers makes for a superior yarn than that of a single species fiber. For instance, mohair is so smooth that the fibers will slide, making the thread weak unless it is spun with many twists. Blending a little wool with the mohair helps as the wool’s microscopic scales holds together the fibers.
Fine wool, no itching…
Fine wool is not itchy like medium and course wool (fine wool is used to make underwear, and comes from sheep breeds like Merino and Rambouillet).
What makes wool itchy is its microscopic scales. Now, there is a process called “Super Wash” which removes these scales. The American version of this process is much safer than the Chinese process, which is done with harsh chemicals that irritate the nose, eyes and skin. The uniforms of American military soldiers are again made of wool that has been super washed. The American-grown wool available from Pure American Naturals (PAN) is the same as the fiber worn by our soldiers in Afghanistan.
Wool and Mohair Yarn Facts
- Mohair adds softness, smoothness, durability and luster to wool and other fibers.
- Mohair accepts and holds dye better than other fibers, meaning the colors will not fade.
- Mohair was once used as upholstery on railroad seats because of its durability.
- Mohair was part of the blend for World War I uniforms. At that time, and until the late 20th Century, the U.S. government promoted mohair production with an incentive payment. Mohair is a safer uniform because it won’t burn as synthetics do.
- Civil War uniforms on both sides were wool (even for the southern states), as cotton and linen was not durable. The Union had an advantage because there was a wool industry in the north.
- Alpaca is a very popular fiber because of its softness, but it doesn’t have the durability of wool or mohair.
- The industrialization of American agriculture led to the centralization of the American wool and mohair industry, and eventually the driving of the industry out of the United States. Instead of segregating, grading and pricing wool according to fineness, it was pooled into big lots and all priced the same low price. Industrial agriculture focuses on efficiency, but this was another reason that illustrated why small business is better than industrialization. Without an incentive to breed and select for fiber quality, American farmers began to develop their sheep for meat rather than for fiber.
- Angora fiber, another natural fiber, comes from angora rabbits. Angora goats produce mohair. Cashmere is the winter under coat shed the springtime by the Cashmere goat. There are other natural fibers including camel, bison, yak, llama, but these are not grown in any significant amount in the U.S.
How mohair yarn is weighed and sold
In addition to the blend of fibers, yarn is specified by yards per pound (YPP) (thin yard is longer i.e. more yards per pound). The thickness of yarn is also measured by wraps per inch (WPI). (i.e. count how many wraps it takes to cover one inch with one wrapped yarn around a ruler and each wrap tight against the previous one). There is another specification for yarn gauge – it is names like lace, fingering, sport, bulky.
Yarn can be sold in skeins or cones. Cones work with machine knitting. Skeins show the softness and feel of the finished garment and are preferred by hand knitters.
The worsted count also expresses the number of hanks required to make a pound of yarn. A hank of worsted wool is equal to 560 yards. So 1 worsted count = 560 yards of yarn, the coarsest worsted yarn available. Worsted sizes are expressed in the reverse of cotton sizes. A two-ply number 6 worsted yarn would be expressed as 2/6 count and would yield 1,680 yards per pound.
To get the yards per pound, divide the second number by the first number (the ply) and multiply by 560 yds/lb.
2/24 = 12 X 560yds/lb = 6,720 yds/lb
2/28 = 14 X 560 yds/lb= 7,840 yds/lb
3/15= 5 X 560 yds/lb= 2,800 yds/ lb
Worsted can mean a gauge of yarn as in YPP, but it also means fibers that are combed to align all the fibers in parallel. This process also combs out all the short fibers and noils. Noils are short fibers that curl and make little round bumps on the fabric.
Have specific Mohair yarn requirements? Contact us today!