week 2 lab data group C: WOOL

Group C members: Ann Beimers, Kenton Nagle, Soren Eversoll, Eila Planinc

For this lab we were split into three stations: spinning, carding, and weaving. For each station, I attempted to record as much quantitative data as possible, but mostly ended up with qualitative reflections on what I was observing.


What was the learning curve like?

The learning curve for spinning wool has a very steep on-ramp, but by the end of lab the time it took me to spin wool had exponentially decreased (see figure 2). We figured out that this is the type of process where it is easier to learn through doing, as opposed to learning through teaching.

Most people’s thicknesses of spun yarn were varied. Even though we all got much faster by the end of the lab, no one was really making consistent yarn.


It seems like cotswold wool drafts slightly easier than the jacobs wool because it is silkier. The textures of different wool definitely varied.

Which wool?

It was hard to tell how tightly the white wool is spun or if it is spun correctly because there is no variation in color or pattern. It is very easy to tell with the jacobs because if it is spun correctly there are stripes. Wool in general has such unique textural qualities. Before spinning, it is easily breakable. Once spun, it is very sturdy and you cannot pull it apart.


We found that the carded wool did not resemble the roving we were given, but it was much easier to draft and spin. It was just hard to get consistent thickness because of inconsistencies in carding and length.

This station was the most physically tiring, so we doubt that any children were historically participating in this part of the process.

I personally felt like it was much more satisfying to spin wool that I had carded, because it felt like I was following the true cycle of the process.


We found that weaving had a pretty easy learning curve, but it seems like it would take a lot of practice and patience to be able to make intricate designs. Also, the loom is easy to use but it is hard to use quickly. Being able to thread the leader very quickly and efficiently seems like something that would take a long time to do.

After pushing the yarn through the loom, the evenness of the end product depended a lot on where you started tamping the thread down. If you started in the middle of the semicircle, the thread would be clunky and uneven. Starting and one end or the other will ensure an even thread.


The weight of each roving was slightly different:

Figure 1.

How much time did it take to spin one roving? (for me personally)

Beginning of lab45m-1hr
End of lab15-20m
Next day10-15m
Figure 2.
My yarn at the end of the lab

How efficient was I at spinning?

My spun yarn at end of lab41g
The shawl Alejandra brought269g
Figure 3.

Based on this figure, I spun about 15% of the yarn needed for a shawl (by weight) in 3 hours. At that rate, it would take about 21 hours to spin yarn for an entire shawl.

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