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Fiber Types

Below is a list and description of some of the most popular types of fiber used in yarn and thread.

ACRYLIC FIBER - a synthetic fiber made from acrylonitirile which comes from coal, air water petroleum and limestone.  It has a soft, wooly hand; wash-and wear performance; excellent resistance to sunlight and good stability to repeated laundering.

ALPACA FIBER - A type of Llama which has a very long hair which is considered a wool.  It resembles mohair.  Alpaca fiber is soft, silky and fairly lightweight. 

ANDALUSIAN WOOL - A medium fine grade of merino wool from spain.

ASTRAKHAN - Wool obtained from karakul lambs.

BOTANY WOOLS - All Australian wools of high quality.

BOURETTE SILK - A coarse silk yarn spun from the waste produced in the manufacturing of schappe silk and silk elongation. 

CAMEL HAIR - A hair yielded by the Bactrian camel of Asia.

CASHMERE - A fine, soft, downy wool undergroth produced by the cashmere goat.

CHENILLE - Apile yarn made by weaving pile yarn and cutting into strips.

CHUBUT WOOL - A fine quality merino wool produced in southern Argentina. 

FLAX - The fiber from which linen yarn is produced.

FLEECE - Wool sheared from sheep or other animals that produce wool fiber.

GREASE WOOL - Wool from the live sheep with yolk and swint intact.

ICE WOOL - A thick, soft-spun, two-ply worsted wool yarn used for handknitting.

JUTE - A bast fiber from the round pod jute or long pod jute primarily grown in Pakistan.

LAMBSWOOL - Wool from a lamb. Extremely soft.

LINEN - A man made fiber made from flax.

MERINO WOOL - Wool from the merino sheep which produces a short fiber of  high quality.

MOHAIR - The Long, white, lustrous hair of the angora goat.

MULBERRY SILK - Silk produced by worms which feed on leaves of mulberry trees.

NYLON - A synthetic fiber that is very stong, resistant to wringles and abrasion.

PIMA COTTON - A variety of American-Egyptian cotton, grown mainly in the southwest United States.

POLYESTER FIBER - The most widely used and versatile of the man-made/synthetic fibers.

POLYPROPELENE FIBER - A paraffin-based syntetic fiber.  Also known as olefin.

PULLED WOOL - Wool taken from dead animals by means of chemicals.

RABBIT HAIR - A soft hair from a rabbit.

RAMIE - A strong, lustrous, natural fiber from the ramie plant grown in Asia.

RAYON - Made from cellulose and is weak when wet.  Weakened by exposure to sunlight.

SAXONY - A fine, elastic wool with a short, strong staple obtained from German merino sheep.

SCOURED WOOL - Wool washed clean by mechanized and chemical methods.

SHETLAND WOOL - A fiber produced by the Shetland sheep. 

SILK - The product of the silk worm.

SUPERWASH WOOL - A wool that has been treated in such a way that it is machine washable.

TOUSSAH - Silk fiber from wilk, uncultivated silkworms.

VIRGIN WOOL - Virgin wool is classified by the Federal Trade Commision standards indicating fibers which have never been made into fabric before.  The term is primarily used to differentiate between those fibers that have been reprocessed, reclaimed and reused.

VISCOSE RAYON - Rayon produced via the viscose method.

WASTE SILK - Short silk filaments that cannot be reeled from the cocoon.

WILD SILK - The term wild silk is a commercial term since the worms, which were beeding originally in a wild environment.

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