Monday, October 11, 2010

How Much Yarn is in My Scarf?

Some of the more popular items in our gallery are handwoven scarves. Can you guess how much yarn is in a typical scarf? Before you read down, see if you can guess (in feet or yards or meters).

Those of us who weave scarves usually buy our yarn by the cone and by the pound. Here are a few of the cones in my stash:


To weave a scarf (or anything else) we first wind what is called the warp, which is the set of threads that are put on the loom. There are several techniques for doing this but a warping board is often used, as shown below:


This ensures all of the threads are the same length. Next, the warp goes on the loom. The photo below shows a wider warp for a set of towels being put on the loom. To stop these threads from becoming a tangled mess we use several techniques to control the threads.


I’ll show more steps later in the week. But now, the answer to the question. A typical scarf is about 72” in length plus fringe and is about 7” or 8” wide. To weave that width, depending on the type of yarn, we may need over 200 threads in the warp. This means the warp would use almost 500 yards of yarn. The weft (the other set of threads that make up the fabric) would use an equivalent amount. So, that pretty scarf you have might have almost 1,000 yards of yarn, or over 1/2 mile!

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1 comment:

Almost Precious said...

That's a lot of yarn. A friend of mine is a weaver and she tried to get her mother involved in the craft. After several lessons she asked her mother what she thought about weaving to which her mother replied; "Oh I love it! It's just setting up the loom and getting everything ready that I can't stand." Now I understand why she would have felt that way. :D

I didn't realize you had a blog, it is lovely and informative. I'm also on networkedblogs and I intend to become one of your networkedblogs followers. :)