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Spinning Gallery

Do you know your worsted spinning from your wool spinning?

Worsted Spun requires a very different fibre preparation, and spinning technique. While woolen spinning is all about trapping air, worsted does the exact opposite. These fibres have to be combed, and combed again into parallel with each other before the spinning can begin. The result is a finer, smoother yarn (and hence fabric) can be produced.

Woolen and worsted are both processed on hand looms from fleece to cloth in roughly the same way. The farmer often washed (or half washed) the sheep before shearing to remove the fatty secretions that protect the sheep but which must be removed to process the wool. At other times the fleece is washed after shearing.


coat of many cultures

The coat was designed and created by two local artists with support from AS Level Art & Design students and year 6 students from local schools.

The coat is 8ft long and is made up of different pieces of material depicting a different side of Bradford life. Using fabric the AS Level students made images of local landmarks whilst the year 6 children created self portraits.

The material was sourced from around the Bradford area and some of the wollen and worsted material was created onsite at Bradford Industrial Museum in the Weaving Gallery.

The images were hand stitched and then machine sewn together,

The Sheep to suit blanket hanging to the left of the coat depicts the main stages involved in making a finished garment from raw wool to tailoring, woven by 10 first year students on a Textile design course. 

Testing Equipment

As you enter the worsted yarn manufacturer gallery you will see a range of equipment for testing the quality of the wool. This equipment was used to check and control the moisture content of textiles by means of laboratory examination and certify their true weight and length.

Over the past few decades, a considerable amount of research has been carried out worldwide on the effect of the raw wool characteristics on topmaking and spinning performance, as well as on yarn properties. This was done in order to gain a better understanding of, and to quantify, the effects of fibre and processing parameters on processing behaviour and performance and on the properties of the top and yarn and even the fabric. 

The testing equipment was removed from Conditioning House after its closure. 

Conditioning House was built by the council in 1902 as a wool testing centre through a special Act of parliament in 1887. Almost 70 per cent of all wool produced in the UK was brought there for testing prior to use.

22 spindle rover made in Keighley for Clarence Mills, Halifax.

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A roving is a long and narrow bundle of fiber. Rovings are produced during the process of making spun yarn from wool fleece, raw cotton, or other fibres. Their main use is as fibre prepared for spinning, but they may also be used for specialised kinds of knitting or other textile arts.

Prince - Smith & Stells Parawind ring spinning frame

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The ring frame is a development of Arkwright water frame, and was used to spin fibres such as wool into yarn. The machine drew out the fibres before spinning and twisting them into yarn. Prince-Smith and Stells were located in Keighley producing a range of machines for the textile industry.

120-spindle flyer spinner

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The flyer is the original type of mechanical spinning frame suitable for producing thick smooth yarns from coarse quality wools and hairs

122-spindle flyer twister

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Twisting is the process in which two or more single-spun yarns are united to produce a yarn of greater strength for use as warp threads in the weaving process and for normal knitting purposes.

Lister Comb

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The Lister Comb  was used when the best results were wanted from long fibred wools and hairs such as mohair, alpaca, long English and crossbred wools. 

Nobel Comb

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Combing is a method for preparing carded fibre for spinning. Combing is divided into linear and circular combing. The Noble comb is an example of circular combing.

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