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Yarn consists of several strands of material twisted together. Each strand is, in turn, made of fibres, all shorter than the piece of yarn that they form. These short fibres are spun into longer filaments to make yarn. Long, continuous strands may only require additional twisting to convert them into yarns. Sometimes they are put through an additional process called texturing.

The characteristics of spun yarn depend, in part, on the amount of twist given to the fibres during spinning. A fairly high degree of twist produces strong yarn; a low twist produces softer, more lustrous yarn; and a very tight twist produces crepe yarn. Yarns are also classified by their number of parts. A single yarn is made from a group of filaments or staple fibres twisted together. Ply yarns are made by twisting two or more single yarns. Cord yarns are made by twisting together two or more ply yarns.

Yarn is used to make textiles using a variety of processes, including weaving, knitting, and felting.

Raw or Materials for Making Yarn:
About 15 different types of fibres are used to make yarn. These fibres fall into two categories: natural and synthetic.

Natural fibres are those that are obtained from a plant or an animal and are mainly used in weaving textiles. The most abundant and commonly used plant fibre is cotton, gathered from the cotton boil or seed pod when it is mature.

Synthetic yarns are man-made yarns produced using chemical processes.

Process of Making Yarn

» Preparing the fibres Fibres are shipped in bales, which are opened by hand or machine. The picker loosens and separates the lumps of fibre and also cleans the fibre if necessary. Blending of different staple fibres may be required for certain applications. Blending may be done during formation of the lap, during carding or during drawing out.

» Carding The carding machine is set with hundreds of fine wires that separate the fibres and pull them into somewhat parallel form. A thin web of fibre is formed, and as it moves along, it passes through a funnel-shaped device that produces a rope-like strand of parallel fibres. Blending can take place by joining laps of different fibres.

» Combing When a smoother, finer yarn is required, fibres are subjected to a further paralleling method. A comb-like device arranges fibres into parallel form, with short fibres falling out of the strand.

» Drawing out After carding or combing, the fibre mass is referred to as the sliver. Several slivers are combined before this process. A series of rollers rotating at different rates of speed elongate the sliver into a single more uniform strand that is given a small amount of twist and fed into large cans. Carded slivers are drawn twice after carding. Combed slivers are drawn once before combing and twice more after combing.

» Twisting The sliver is fed through a machine called the roving frame, where the strands of fibre are further elongated and given additional twist. These strands are called the roving.

» Spinning
The process of spinning means taking the loose tangled fibres, drawing them into a smooth, uniform thread and twisting the thread to give it strength.


The different types of yarns can be categorized on the basis of their origin. These are as under:

Yarn from Animal Fibres:
  • Wool: Wool is fibre from a domesticated sheep. Wool accepts dye well, is flame-retardant by nature, remains warm even when wet, sheds water better than other yarns. Natural wool should be hand-washed. 'Superwash' wool has been treated to allow machine washing. Wool will usually resume its proper shape when washed correctly; if it is mistreated and washed in too-hot water, it will shrink or felt.

  • Mohair: It is fibre from an Angora goat. Mohair is durable, sheds dirt, dyes well and does not felt easily. Despite its hardiness, it is usually spun into yarn used for fluffy garments and scarves. This yarn is abraded, roughing its fibres to create that 'fuzzy' look.

  • Angora: It’s a fibre from rabbits. Fabric made from this yarn is inelastic (no stretch), very fluffy, soft and warm.

  • Silk: It is the fibre produced by silk moths. Silk knitting yarn is made from damaged silk cocoons and broken fibres. 'Raw' silk still has the original moth secretions in it. 'Tussah' silk obtained from wild moths is brown. The food fed to domesticated moths determines their silk's natural colour; this can be white, green or yellow. Silk retains heat, absorbs moisture, pills less than wool; it is very strong and very stable when knit, neither shrinking nor stretching.

  • Cashmere: It is a fibre from the undercoat of a Cashmere goat. It is very expensive because only a few ounces are obtained from each goat per year. It is such a delicate yarn, more fragile than wool and more susceptible to abrasion, that it is usually blended with wool to make it more durable.

  • Camel: It is a fibre from the two-humped or Bactrian camel. Camel hair cannot be bleached, so it is either used un-dyed or dyed a darker colour. It is lightweight and fragile.

  • Vicuna: It comes from the vicuna, a South American relative of the camel. They are rounded up once a year and shorn like llamas or sheep; their hair is finer than any other animal fibre.

  • Alpaca: It is a smaller relative of the llama, but its hair is more commercially valuable. Yarn from this fibre does not felt or pill easily. It comes in 15 natural colours (as do the alpacas) and is denser than wool, so fabric knit from it may droop. The undercoat of a llama is very similar to alpaca hair.

  • Qiviut (kiv-ee-uht): It is included here because it is a wonderful scrabble word; the fibre itself is very hard to find. It comes from a musk ox and resembles pale grey cashmere but does not shrink.
Yarn from Vegetable Fibres:
  • Cotton: Itis the fibre surrounding the seeds in a cotton pod. Usually white but there are green and brown varieties. Cotton is heavy, dense and inelastic; although it will regain its shape after washing, its ability to do so decreases over time. It is comfortable to wear in a hot climate but not in a cold (the opposite of wool) climate and is slow to dry once wetted. It makes a weaker yarn than silk or linen but is stronger than wool.

  • Linen: It comes from the flax plant. It is durable and stronger than any other fibre. Fabric made from it becomes softer and more beautiful with age. It absorbs moisture better than cotton and dries more quickly, making it more comfortable to wear than cotton in hot temperatures. It is easier to wash than wool and does not stretch or shrink.

  • Ramie: It is made from nettles. It is often used as a substitute for linen since it is less expensive but shares linen’s good qualities.

  • Rayon: It is a fibre produced from natural ingredients by artificial means. Cellulose from wood pulp or cotton is treated chemically until it may be drawn into filaments. Rayon is a weak fibre, but it is absorbent, dries quickly and stretches.
Synthetic Fibres:
  • Nylon:It is light weight, strong, elastic, resists abrasion, does not stretch or shrink (except at high temperatures) and is easy to wash. It is usually combined with wool to impart its strength and elasticity to the wool. Pure nylon is available as a 'knit-along' to strengthen sections of a garment that will encounter wear, such as elbows and sock heels.

  • Polyester: It is the most common type of synthetic fibre. Fabric made from it retains its shape. It adds strength and resilience to natural fibres. Polyester is very easy to wash and is more comfortable to wear than many other synthetics.

  • Acrylics: These are the most common synthetics in knitting yarns. They are resilient, moderately strong, slightly inelastic, feel good to the hand and are light in weight. Acrylics are easily made to imitate natural fibres, so they are sold as alternatives to wool. However, acrylics cannot wick away moisture from the body, so their warmth diminishes when wet. The fibre burns readily unless treated and will shrink in moist heat. Acrylics are often used to achieve novel textures and characteristics that are not available with natural fibres.

  • Metallics: These are best used as a 'knit-along' with another, stronger yarn.
Apart from the above, the classification criteria may be in other ways as well based on the process of manufacturing, treatments given, etc.


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October 01,2010

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MR TEXTILE reports regarding Textile and specially Cotton updates are very informative and highly reliable. We TEX LINK appreciate your reports and with keen interest we study your reports. We are handling Cotton Imports / Exports business and your reports gives us guidelines to asses market moves.
Looking forward for your reports.

Muhammad Awais Tariq.

We sincerely thank “Team MR Textiles” for consistently supplying us unbeatable quality of raw cotton from premiere cotton stations at the best prices. We hope for a long and fruitful co-operation.

-Abhay Gupta
 LGW, Kolkata

The quality yarn supply by your company helped create a strong buyer base for us. We also appreciate your on-time delivery schedules.

Manish Kaushik
Indo-Industries, Mumbai

Thank you so much for sending Cotton Market Bulletin. This report is very useful, interesting and informative.

Best regards

We find your daily Cotton market report very informative and useful. We look forward to receive your Daily Cotton market report.

Best Rgds
Arun Kapoor
Mixwell International
Mumbai - India

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