Chiengora Noil

Noil is the short fibre left over from combing wool or spinning silk. Silk noil is also called raw silk, although that is a misnomer. As noil is a relatively short fibre, fabric made from noil is weaker and considered less valuable.

The plural noils is also used, and means the same as noil.

Chiengora is a yarn or wool spun from dog hair. The word is a portmanteau of chien, the French word for dog, and angora. It is up to 80% warmer than wool and is not elastic.

Often chiengora is blended with wool during the carding process. This blend has some give to it, which is preferable when knitting. It is also often blended with wool in order to create a yarn with less heat insulation. 

Yarn spun from dog hair

dog hairSpinning dog hair is not a new art form. Dog hair has been found in yarns dating back from pre-historic Scandinavia, and in textiles from the Navajo Indians of North America. It was the main fibre spun on the Northern American continent before the Spaniards introduced sheep.

The best hairs for this application are from Northern breeds, such as Newoundlands,  Chow Chows, Samoyed, Norwegian, Elkhounds, and the like.

In modern times it is rarely used. In general it is only used by hand spinners with pet dogs.

Chiengora is similar in appearance to angora and is furry and very soft. Chiengora tends to fluff with use, creating a halo effect.

It is warm, even in frigid temperatures, and it sheds water well.

A roving is a long and narrow bundle of fibre. It is usually used to spin woollen yarn. A roving can be created by carding the fibre, and it is then drawn into long strips. Because it is carded, the fibres are not parallel, though drawing it into strips may line the fibres up a bit. Roving is similar to sliver.rovings

Because roving has been created by carding, the fibres are less parallel than top combed and are not of uniform length. Carded rovings look fluffier than combed top, which looks smooth and has a high lustre. The fibres in combed top tend to be of a fairly uniform length due to the method of preparation.

Pencil roving is a type of roving that has been drawn until it is the size of a fat pencil. It can be used by spinners with minimal drafting. Knitters also use pencil roving, similar to Lopi style yarns, or when making a thrummed item. Regular roving can also be used in thrummed knitting.

A rolag is a roll of fibre generally used to spin woollen yarn. A rolag is created by first carding the fibre, rolag using hand cards, and then by gently rolling the fibre off the cards. If properly prepared, a rolag will be uniform in width, distributing the fibres evenly.

Animal fibres have traditionally been used to create rolags, but today's spinners use many different fibre materials, including manufactured and plant fibres.

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