chloe. yarn. March 15th , 2018.
When natural hair-type fibers are burned they tend to singe and have a smell of burnt hair; this is because many as human hair are protein-derived. Cotton and viscose (rayon) yarns burn as a wick. Synthetic yarns generally tend to melt though some synthetics are inherently flame-retardant. Noting how an unidentified fiber strand burns and smells can assist in determining if it is natural or synthetic and what the fiber content is.
Spun yarn is made by twisting staple fibres together to make a cohesive thread or "single."6 Twisting fibres into yarn in the process called spinning can be dated back to the Upper Paleolithic and yarn spinning was one of the very first processes to be industrialized. Spun yarns may contain a single type of fibre or be a blend of various types. Combining synthetic fibres (which can have high strength lustre and fire retardant qualities) with natural fibres (which have good water absorbency and skin comforting qualities) is very common. The most widely used blends are cotton-polyester and wool-acrylic fibre blends. Blends of different natural fibres are common too especially with more expensive fibres such as alpaca angora and cashmere.
Yarn is composed of twisted strands of fiber which are known as plies when grouped together.8 These strands of yarn are twisted together (plied) in the opposite direction to make a thicker yarn. Depending on the direction of this final twist the yarn will have either s‑twist (the threads appear to go "up" to the left) or z‑twist (to the right). For a single ply yarn the direction of the final twist is the same as its original twist. The twist direction of yarn can affect the final properties of the fabric and combined use of the two twist directions can nullify skewing in knitted fabric.
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