All Tangled Up:THE HISTORY OF THE YARN!

“Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt(YARN)…”

         Throughout many centuries, people have been using yarn to knit things such as scarves, gloves, etc; They can also be used for weaving, embroidery, and crocheting, not to mention ropemaking(and do not ever use that rope that you made to tie up your sister, please!). For those of you who are wondering what yarn really is, it just happens to be a long, continuous length of interlocked fibers, one that is suitable for use. There also happens to be another type of yarn, called the thread, which is intended for sewing by hand or even a sewing machine.

         The word yarn comes straight from the Middle English by way from the Old English gearn, which is akin to Old High German’s garn yarn, the chorde string of the Greek, and the hira band of the Sanskirt. There are two types of materials that go into the making of the yarn: Either natural or synthetic fibers, although many types of yarn have been made differently; There are also two main types of yarn: spun and filament.

         One of the most commonly spun fibers in the world just happens to be the cotton(cotton? COTTON?! SPLAT!!! Little Three Stooges-style humor there…); Cotton is spun typically into fine yarn for mechanical weaving or knitting into cloth, but first cotton must be grown throughout the world, then it has to be harvested, ginned, and then prepared for yarn spinning. As for polyester, it is extruded straight from the polymers that have been derived from natural gas and oil…The synthetic fibers are generally extruded in continuous strands of gel-state materials; So these strands are drawn(as in stretched), annealed(as in hardened), and are then cured to obtain properties desirable for later processing.

         There also happens to be another type of fiber in the process of making yarn, and that happens to be animal fiber, and that kind of fiber that is most commonly spun is the wool that is harvested from the sheep; Thick, wool, and acrylic yarns are most frequently used for hand knitting as well as hobby knitting. Other kinds of animals in which would be spun from to make yarn include camel, yak, possum, musk, ox, cat, dog, or wolf. Those natural fibers have the advatage of being slightly elastic as well as very breathable, all while trapping a great deal of air, making for a fairly warm fabric.

         Oh, and may I say that the yarn is not ever without its dangers? Surprisingly, there are yarns that are of the protein type(hair, silk, feathers, etc.) that could irritate some people, causing such reactions as hives, wheezing, and dermatitis.

         Yarn comes in a variety of different colors, but they can be used undyed; While most yarns have a single uniform hue, there is also a wide selection of variegated yarns, such as:

  • Heathered or tweed
  • Ombre
  • Multicolored!
  • Self-striping, which is yarn dyed with lengths of color that would create stripes automatically
  • Marled, which is yarn made from strands of different-colored yarn twisted together. 

         When it comes to making handcrafts, yarn in quantities are measured and sold usually by weight in ounces or grams; The common sizes for the common yarn includes 25g, 50g, and 100g.

         So, my friends, that is the history of the yarn…And boy, what a sweet YARN I have told!(yuk, yuk, yuk)

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