What is Worsted Wool? | Worsted Yarns | Woollen Yarns | Worsted Fabrics | Woollen Fabrics

What is Worsted Wool? Well, the differences between woollens and worsteds begin at the carding stage. 'Carding' is one of the processes which untangles the wool fibers and lays them straight, side by side. It also helps to clean the fibers of debris. Both woollens and worsteds are carded.

'Combing' is the next process in establishing what is worsted wool. Combing removes shorter length fibers and helps to further straighten the fibers and lay them parallel. Combing also helps to clean more debris from the fibers. Only worsteds are combed.

worsted yarns
Fig: Worsted yarns
During spinning, worsted yarns have more twist inserted which makes them a firmer, stronger yarn. This in turn makes worsted fabrics stronger than woollens.

While I'm explaining to you what is worsted wool, I should show you the different characteristics of worsted and woollen yarns and fabrics. Here you go...

Worsted Yarns

  • Have a long staple length (4 inch fibers and longer only)
  • Are carded and combed
  • Have a tight twist in spinning
  • Are stronger
  • Are finer, smoother, and have more even fibers
  • Are harder
Woollen Yarns
  • Have a short staple (1 - 4 inch long fibers)
  • Are carded only
  • Have a slack twist
  • Are weaker
  • Are bulkier
  • Are softer
Here are some differences between worsted and woollen fabrics...

Worsted Fabrics

  • Have a distinct woven pattern and are more closely woven
  • Have a hard finish for a flatter, smoother look
  • Are firm, wiry or harsh, and smooth or rough
  • Wrinkle less, are more long-lasting, and hold creases and shape
  • Are more expensive and good for tailored clothing and suits
Woollen Fabrics
  • Have a less obvious pattern
  • Have a soft finish (maybe felted, or steamed)
  • Are soft, thick and fuzzy
  • Are warmer, and you can remove stains more easily
  • Are usually less expensive and good for jackets, sweaters and blankets 

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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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