Rolag and Roving

Rolag

A rolag (Scottish Gaelic: roileag) is a roll of fibre generally used to spin woollen yarn. A rolag is created by first carding the fibre, using handcards, and then by gently rolling the fibre off the cards. If properly prepared, a rolag will be uniform in width, distributing the fibresHand carded rolag image evenly. The word derives from the Scottish Gaelic word for a small roll.hand carded rolag

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

Roving

A roving is a long and narrow bundle of fibre. Rovings are produced during the process of making spun yarn from wool fleece, raw cotton, or other fibres. Their main use is as fibre prepared for spinning, but they may also be used for specialised kinds of knitting or other textile arts.

After carding, the fibres lie roughly parallel in smooth bundles. These are drawn out, by hand or machine, and slightly twisted to form lengths suitable for spinning. These unspun strands of fibre are the rovings. Roving can also mean a roll of these strands, the strands in general (as a mass noun), or the process of creating them.

Because it is carded, 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. Though drawing it into strips may line the fibres up a bit. Roving is not to be confused with sliver as there is twist in roving.

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 (withdrawing fibers from a clump). 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.)

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