How Yarn is Made


Today, join me to learn how yarn is made from
raw fibres to the beautiful yarn skeins you see on the retail shelves today. We will go behind the scenes with leading
brands of yarn you see on the retail shelves today. From the makers of Bernat, Lily Sugar’n
Cream, Patons and Caron Yarns under the main manufacturing name of Spinrite Yarns LP. Get an up close and personal view to see how
it’s done from Acrylic and Blended Yarns today. Most of the fibres that arrive are already
dyed and only select specialty yarns will end up through the dye house after the spinning
is complete. The bundles are sitting on a clean floor under
the Gilling Machine. The Gilling Machine has two purposes. Firstly to comb the fibres and secondly to
clean the fibers. The fiber must pass through two Gilling Machines
that have different settings before it can move beyond this point in the factory. The Gilling Machine can blend fibres together,
which I will talk about in a moment. First, you see Acrylic Pink Dyed Fiber here. They are all acrylic. Each one of the bundles is fed up into the
machine and blending them all together. You see, your yarn strands in a ball can be
made up of all of these bundles by the time it goes to spinning. All of these bundles will come out as one
main fiber roving strand. You can see in the bundles prior to going
through Gilling that the fibres are not straight or relaxed. They have been compressed during shipping
and need to relaxed before moving on. On the other side of the machine, all of these
bundles are coming out as one two separate roving fibres into rotating bins. This is laying down the fiber in an organized
way for the next Gilling Machine. Inside the Gilling Machine are combs that
are combing the fiber to make the strands straighten up. Straight strands are required for the spinning
process as they will not cling onto each other if they are not straight. The combs are also removing out any imperfections
from the fibres that shouldn’t be there. In another Gilling Machine, Fibers are being
combined together. Here, the large bundle is Acrylic yarn and
it’s getting a 20% Mix of Wool added to it. The small bundles are 100% Wool. The machine is being fed the acrylic and wool
at the same time. They know how many Wool Bundles to add to
make it 20% for the yarn mix. It travels the acrylic and wool together it’s
combing them before going into the barrel. The combing causes the fibres to blend together
in the perfect mix. It’s like cake batter for yarn. Knowing how much acrylic and wool are needed
to make it 80% Acrylic and 20% Wool for this brand. The visual difference from before Gilling
to after Gilling is remarkable. The barrel with the first Gilling is moved
to another Gilling Machine where the barrels are now in place instead of the bundles. All of the barrels are from the first Gilling
Machine. It’s again blending the yarns and combing
through with a more refined comb. This comb is more finer and is again cleaning. The results after the second Gilling Machine
create light as air roving fiber. It’s now ready to move onto the next process
which is called Rub Roving. Rub Roving is now going to organize the yarn
to be prepared for spinning in the next step. The Rub Rover takes the fibres from the bins
and combines two bins together. It gives it a small twist to hold the fibres
together that is just enough for the spinning process. It’s creating large Rub Roving Cones that
will be placed above the spinning machines in the next process. The machine is practically hands free. There are reusable cylinder cones used throughout
the factory. Those start their journey right here. The fibres are rolled onto these cones. The Rub Roving Machine reminds me of a pin
resetter of a bowling alley. The machine automatically feeds the cones
by taking them from a storage holder and placing them into position for cycles ahead of time. Once the Rub Roving Cycle is done, the machine
stops, lowers down and the cone is released. The roving isn’t strong enough to prevent
the cones from rolling again and the roving breaks automatically. The cones roll to the back of the machine. It lifts the next empty cone and begins the
cycle all over again. Once the machine is reset and going, the operator
goes to the back of the machine and puts the cones into a moveable cart for the spinners
to come and get. It’s now time to move to spinning. There appear to be thousands of spinners at
Spinrite. Above the machines are slowly rotating Rub
Roving Cones. The slower the rotation, the thinner the ply
of yarn. The quicker, obviously, the chunkier the ply. The spinners are making 1 ply of yarn each. They are taking the fibres from the Rub Roving
Cones and applying the spinning twist. The bottom collection spindles are rotating
extremely fast in comparison to the Rub Roving Cones above. The spinning machines are extremely condensing
the rub roving yarn from the thick ply to a very thin ply of yarn that has strength. The length of the finished one ply of yarn
can be 1000’s more yards than the original Rub Roving Cone. This process is automated and working in unison
with each other all the way down the aisles. If the yarn ply breaks, they will tied together
the ends and continue the spinning cycle. You will most likely not notice when yarn
is tied together when it’s done at this stage as the plies are thin and are added
to other plies by the time the yarn is done. Once the cones are full, they are removed,
the spinners are reset and the cones move onto section called The Doubler. The Doubler is where the yarn plies are mixed
with each other. For example, here, they are making 4 ply yarn. There are 4 cones going to one doubler cone. The machine has back up cones that are tied
to each other. The thin plies are being put together but
there is virtually no twist. This process is really fast and cones are
tied to each other to prevent yarn from running out on the starting cone. Again, you will most likely not see in you
finished yarn when one ply has been tied together. The yarn now appears to be flat on the Doubler
Cone. With no twist, you can virtually see how many
plies the yarn is. It now must be moved to the next section called
Twisting. Twisting is the famous twist you see yarn
have. It’s the act of twisting the plies together
to make up one strand of yarn. Here, the Doubler Cones are sitting inside
the drum. The yarn is being pulled up and twist is added
to the strand before wrapping it to the twisting cone above. The twist is so important to yarn. This a science to ensure the twist is correct
for the yarn. Twist too much and the yarn will appear like
telephone cord and if you don’t twist enough, the plies don’t appear to be wrapping around
each other firmly. The yarn brand has everything to do with how
much twist is added. Some yarns are made with loose twist while
other yarns are tighter twists. This machine controls the twist applied. If the strands break while twisting. The strand is tied together and resumed on
the machine. This is where you may see a knot within your
ball of yarn. Instead of tossing the entire cone into the
garbage and creating an environmental problem, it’s acceptable within the yarn industry
to have some knots in balls. While it may aggravate the knitters and crocheters,
the negative consequences to landfill outweighs the inconvenience. More waste means higher costs to the customer. Customer prefer their yarn to be as inexpensive
as possible. Production of yarn, materials used and steps
involved to make the yarn dictate the final price of yarn. Once the twisting is done. The twisted cones now move to Yarn Finishing. At this point, you have seen yarn strands
that are really thin. The yarn hasn’t been given its opportunity
to shine because it’s not been steamed. Steam is the secret ingredient to giving yarn
it’s fullness. Yarn finishing is the final step. The cones are placed onto a raised table and
fed through a steaming and winding station. The strand is fed up and over the machine
and placed down in a rotation on a moving conveyor that is independent of it’s neighbours. Most knots in a yarn ball are from this step. The twisted cones have only so much yardage
before they run out. Once one cone runs out, the cone is tied to
the next cone and the next cone is auto fed through the machine without stopping the machine. The empty cone is replace and it’s tied
to the cone that is now winding. Once that cone is empty, it will jump back
to the cone that was just replaced. This happens all day in every winding machine
in Spinrite. The table is quickly moving and will move
the yarn under a high blast of steam. It then passes quickly through a dyer to dry
it before it immerses on the other side. The difference between what goes in and what
comes out is strikingly different. The yarn is full and rich. The yarn is heading directly to ball winding. Here, they are making Phentex Yarn. The winders interior is much bigger than you
would expect. The yarn is wrapped tightly to the winder
so that yardage accuracy is maintained. The yarn balls are periodically weighed for
accuracy. If a yarn strand snaps during this process,
the unfinished ball is removed at the end of the cycle and the yarn is placed into a
seconds bag called Mill Ends. The yarn ball hasn’t hit it’s target weight
and cannot be sold as first quality. It is not put into the garbage, it is sold
as second quality. As you can see, there’s nothing wrong with
that yarn other than it wasn’t wound to it’s full potential. Once the machine is done winding. The interior of the ball winder collapses. The collapsing of the interior allows the
yarn ball to relax and the pressure of the tightly wound ball relaxes to the interior
of the ball. This allows the yarn that has been steam blasted
to puff up an opportunity to maintain it’s full richness of yarn. In this case, the operator is manually applying
the ball band. In other stations, it’s completely automated. The yarn is packaged up and boxes are prepared. It’s then moved to the warehouse waiting
for the stores to place their orders to ship them yarn to fill up their shelves. Today, you saw machinery that is new and old. Technology of yarn making has evolved in some
aspects over the years and other elements are the same going back decades. Spinrite produces enough yarn each week to
go to the moon. Hopefully you have enjoyed today’s video
with an up close front seat with me. On behalf of Yarnspirations and The Crochet
Crowd, have an amazing day!

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