Janne Robberstad

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Carding and spinning and yarning

By spotogspindel | February 22, 2014

I am once again a student! I´ve signed up for a part-time course in TextileCulture. So two days a month, I´ll be joining a group of other women, learning in-depth about our textile heritage and future.

The first two days I attended was all about carding and spinning. (I made up the word yarning, well-knowing it´s not a real word. I just felt the need for a verb…)

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We started off by visiting Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrik (a wool factory). It was founded in 1898, and some of the machines still in use, four generations later, are originals from the start. We had a thorough tour of the factory, and learned a lot about the whole process the wool goes through, from sheep to yarn.

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First, the wool is washed. If it is to be felted, the wool is then dyed. If it is to be spun, the dyeing comes later. Huge piles of dyed wool in all colors were stacked on the first floor.  It was then carried upstairs to the big carding-machines.

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This factory is a relatively small one, and can make custom orders of as little as 40 kilos of wool in just about any color and combination you´d want. Though the main ingredient is always wool. They are also the only factory who card Norwegian “wild-sheep”-wool. Kudos!

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Different types of wool above. There are at least 16 different types of sheep in Norway, so this is just the most common ones.

Anyway. The yarn is then spun, in huge amounts on huge descendants of “the Spinning Jenny”.

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After the yarn is spun, it is dyed by the bolts.

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Our guide, the 4th generation, in his show-and-tell.

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Back at the school in the evening we got another in-depth crash-course in hand-spinning. I have tried spinning before, but on a spinning wheel. A little with she eps-wool, but mainly with angora-rabbit.

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I really should probably get myself a spindle and give it a go… After all, my name kind of suggests I should know how to (Spindelmaker)

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