This week's Ask the Crafter question was asked by Sara Wolfie:
Can you tell us what "core spun" means? I've seen that in your updates/listings and elsewhere, but I'm not a spinner so I would love to learn what this means.
I'd like to say thank you to all who submitted questions last week, all of the questions were wonderful and I chose this one because I feel like it is a question many may have who don't spin yarn but purchase handspun from others. I hope you find my answer helpful and informative with my limited knowledge, as I am new to the world of corespinning.
First I would like to point out, that corespinning is just a general technique of spinning yarn. Nothing too complicated, just a different style than the usual ply two singles together. There are lots of styles and more intricate ways of corespinning which I won't cover today (look up 'supercoil yarn' for a different style that is tighter and less fluffy than the corespun I am featuring today). I will just be covering the very base of corespinning, which is what I have experience with so far.
Corespinning is a technique of spinning on a wheel or spindle where the fiber is being spun around a "core" which is typically a thread or laceweight yarn that allows the fiber to grab on and wrap around the core yarn. Basic corespinning creates a different texture than a typical 2-ply handspun, it creates a lightweight and airy yarn that will take the drape of the core used. So far I have used cotton thread for my corespinning, as well as laceweight merino wool. Spinners often use commercially spun yarns/thread for their core since this is more time and cost-effective, as the core is usually hidden underneath the fiber in the finished yarn anyway.
In my personal experience, batts and rolags (if you remember from last week, these would be woolen-spinning preparations) work best for spinning around a core. These are easy to draft and already create a lofty, airy yarn, so in addition to the corespinning technique these features shine through. "Roving"/Combed Top can also be used for corespinning, but it will need to be drafted (or fluffed up) first to allow the fibers to grab onto the core yarn.
If I were to describe basic corespun yarn in one word, it would be 'puffy.' It has a general puffy, soft sort of look to it. If you were to press on this yarn, it would be very squishy and almost pillow-like. It reminds me of puffy, yet colorful little clouds. It is super soft and airy, textured and fuzzy. Like I said, I am fairly new to the world of corespinning, but it is a very fun technique which I plan to learn more and practice throughout my fiber journey to create truly unique yarns.
I hope this post was helpful to you. Please share it with your knitting/weaving/crochet friends to help spread the knowledge. Also, if you'd like to submit a question for next week's Ask the Crafter, feel free to comment below.
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Serene Fiber Arts
Amanda J. French
Fiber artist from Louisville, KY. Professionally, I spend my days spinning one of a kind yarns from wool and recycled fibers, and weaving with them. Other hobbies include; yoga, fitness, painting, studying languages, and knitting.