Week 4 Wool Lab Data – Group F

As others have mentioned, I too found it difficult to collect quantitative data from this lab. I felt like I had to contend with the intense focus and physical taxation required to participate in each station. Moreover, each group member was not exactly participating in the same manner as some spent longer weaving and others spent longer spinning and thus it became difficult to keep track of standarized values. Nonetheless, here is both quantitative and qualitative data from the Wool lab:


Group F (us) and Group E began the station part of the lab, after the outdoor spinning, at the weaving station. There were 3 looms going at once: one had already been started before this lab, another we began (as pictured below), and then the standing loom housed in the arch lab. As can be seen in fig. 1, we wove 3/10th of an inch which is approximately 0.762 cm; this can otherwise be reported as about 9 rows of weaving. Note that this is not the entire amount the two groups wove within their time at the station, but merely what 3-4 members of the groups managed within 15 minutes. We were using hand-spun yarn which appeared to be ~ 3mm thick.

(Fig. 1) Beginning small loom weaving.
(Fig. 2) Finished small loom weaving.


  • It was relatively easy to weave (mechanically) but certainly a time consuming process.
  • If one is not careful enough, it is easy to make the plaits uneven (see the upper portions of fig. 2)
  • It is intriguing to consider how people would have shared the labor of weaving especially when some people are at levels differing from others (as seen in fig. 2).


We measured the amount we carded by the length of what we spun (fig. 2). We each attempted to card all four types of wool but we only really have data for all excluding the Soay as some of us were not very successful at carding the tough wool enough to spin. Each group member likely carded for ~10min.

(Fig. 3) 380cm of Jacob wool spun by Hope
(Fig. 4) Hope and Ashton Carding Wool
Wool Type ->CotswoldLeicester LongwoolJacob
Amount Spun300cm250cm380cm
These values are taken from the member who spun all the wool they carded.


  • Cotswold wool was by far the easiest to card; Soay wool was the most difficult.
  • It was significantly easier to spin our hand-carded wool rather than the initial roving that was brought for us. This is likely because the lanolin bound the spun threads together.
  • For the Soay wool, we initially thought that we had carded it enough to spin. However, when we got to spinning the Soay wool, it was still far too thick and just clumped together way too much.


Our group learned to spin at different paces but we were all successful by the end! There was no set amount of spinning time and thus precise quantitative measurements are not present.


  • Initially, it was difficult to control the size of ones spun yarn. Moreover, it was difficult to estimate how much roving would make different widths of yarn. However, as time went on, it became easier to estimate.
  • The benefit of the hand-carded roving was that it became much easier to control the width of the spun yarn.
  • A major bottleneck was learning how to “spin-in” or begin a new strip of roving without taking everything off and getting a new leader string.
  • We also wondered about to what extent jewelry on the arms or wrists would affect the extent of fatigue. We also wondered about the relationship between efficiency of spinning (ex: being able to stand up spin or ride a horse and spin) in contrast with ease (ex: it felt easier and less taxing to spin while sitting).

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