From fibre to yarn
After shearing or harvesting, the fibres go through a number of treatment steps to transform them into high-quality yarn for weaving. Sorting and initial cleaning are undertaken by artisan breeders. The next steps in the production process take place in England, in the hands of the best weavers and leading experts.
Sorting the fibre
Artisans manually sort each fibre depending on its fineness, separating out the fibres into a number of qualities.
Made in England
The area surrounding Leeds in the United Kingdom, where Dormeuil’s fabric manufacturing premises are located, is the birthplace of the international textile industry. It was here, amongst the lush green valleys irrigated by Pennine water with its unique properties, that the best worsted weavers and the leading experts in fabric finishing set up in business more than a century ago.
Cleaning the fibre
The fleece is washed to remove impurities such as grease, dirt and straw.
Carding the fibre
The wool fibres are separated, disentangled and aired to give the carding strand. It is at the carding stage that blends of fibres can be made.
The word ‘carding’ derives from carduus, the Latin name for the thistle, a prickly plant that grows at the roadside. It is not unusual for the flock to brush against thistles as they roam, leaving a few tufts of wool attached.
Combing the fibre
Long fibres will be combed to align the fibres in parallel. The shorter fibres are then removed.
The « Top »
A continuous strand of clean fibres called the « Top » is obtained.
Dyeing the « Top »
The strands are dyed in bulk prior to spinning.
There are different kinds
of dyeing :
• Top dyeing: his consists of dyeing the fibre strands prior to weaving.
• Yarn dyeing: this consists of dyeing the spools of raw wool thread after spinning.
• Piece dyeing: this is generally the least expensive technique. The product is woven in its natural colour and then dyed in an autoclave.
Spinning the fibre
Spinning consists of twisting the natural fibres to obtain a more durable continuous yarn, transforming natural wool fibres into a fine, smooth, compact yarn.
There are two methods of spinning:
• Worsted spinning (long fibres): the fibres are combed during spinning to remove the airspaces and more twist is applied, creating a fine, smooth, durable yarn. This method is used primarily for men’s suits.
• Woollen spinning (short fibres): he fibres are not combed when they are spun, and little twist is applied. This gives a soft, lofty thread. This method is used primarily for jackets, coats and knitwear.