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Spinning Fibers For the Fiber Artist > Optim 4 oz.
Optim 4 oz.

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Price: $22.00
Availability: in stock
Prod. Code: southwest Fibers

 

OPTIMTM

100% MERINO WOOL TOP

I have been spinning this fiber on my drop spindle which weighs 1.7 ounces and this fiber spins like a dream on it. I am spinning a lace weight yarn with no effort. My 3 ply yarn is coming out at 28 warps per inch, which makes the singles about 84 wraps per inch.
Optim™ is the name given to the process of stretching wool. This technique, developed in Australia, take fine Merino wool, which has an average micron count of 19, and stretches it making the resulting sliver 3 –3.5 microns finer. At 15.5 –16 microns, the fiber is comparable to Cashmere ( or Guanaco). The best part is that unlike Cashmere, the staple length is long (3-4 times the length of Cashmere!) making it a dream to spin.

 

How is it done? Special equipment was developed to twist a fine sliver, locking the fibers against each other so that no drafting occurs. The sliver is then stretched changing the molecular structure of the wool. If anything, this increases the tensile strength and length of the staple. Because the shape of the fiber is changed in the stretching, the luster of the fiber is enhanced causing it to appear brighter when dyed. A chemical is used in the process but is then washed from the wool in the final stages of processing.