Once the cashmere fibre has been dyed, blended and carded it is ready to be spun into yarn. The spinning department is the noisiest as the machines are big and constantly on the go, they often run through the night.
The machines are known as spinning mules. Each spinning mule can take 14 of the large spools with the carded cashmere slubbing on it. The ends of the slubbing are connected manually to empty “pirns” (cones) which you can see in the pictures below and each spool has 28 ends. When the carriage of pirns moves out it puts a twist in the yarn and then winds the yarn onto the pirn. The distance that the carriage moves and the amount of length or feed of each end are very specific and it can be adjusted to vary the thickness of the yarn. When the pirns are full of spun yarn they are called ‘cops’ and are ready to either go into stock or move to another part of the spinning department where they are spun two fold to make 2/28s yarn. We buy 2/28s yarn as this is the best thickness for us and for the machines we use to knit with.
Next week we’ll show you the next stage of spinning!
Thanks for stopping by!
All imagery Ciara Menzies.