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Abrasion – The wearing away of fiber by rubbing away.

Absorbency – The ability of a fiber to absorb liquid.

Acetate – A fiber manufactured from cellulose refined from cotton and/or wood pulp.

Acid Dye – A dye which is applied to fiber from an acid dye solutions. It is fairly colorfast to light and laundering.

Acrylic – A artificial manufactured fiber  from long-chain synthetic polymers.

Adjective Dye – A dye which requires the use of mordents to bind the dye to the fiber

Akha Spindle  – Drop spindles used in the northern region of Thailand by the Akha native people. Best suited for spinning short-stapled fine fibres such as cotton, silk, cashmere, angora, qiviut, or wool due to the spindles light weight.

Alpaca – Fiber from the alpaca  llama. The fiber is softer, finer, more lustrous and stronger than sheep’s wool, but in relatively short supply.

Alum – A long used naturally occurring mordant

Ammonia – A natrually occurring alkaline dye.

Ammonium Sulfate – Used for evenness when using light to medium shades.

Anti-chlor Concentrate –Removes residual chlorine left when removing color with bleach.

Aniline Dyes – Also called Coal Tar Dyes. This term is used with reference to any synthetic organic dyes and pigments. Aniline dyes are classified according to their degree of brightness.

Animal Fibers – Protein-based hair, fur, and cocoon materials taken from animals. Typical animal fibers include, wool, mohair, llama, alpaca, cashmere, camel and vicuna and cocoon material (silk).

Angora – Downy soft, fluffy hair that is obtained from angora rabbits. This fiber is usually blended with wool or other fibers to make it easier to spin.

Angora Goat – The goat that produces “mohair”

Apparel Wool – Wool’s that are manufactured into cloth, which is then used for clothing.

Attenuation – The reduction of the fiber from the roving into a strand.

Axle – The shaft of which on object can revolve around.  Such as the metal axle on the wheel of a spinning wheel or the center dowel of a drop spindle.

Backcross – Mating a crossbred animal to one of the parental breeds.

Bactrian Camel – The camel breed that camel hair comes from

Balanced – A plied yarn that doesn’t twist back on itself.

Basic Dyes – A class of dyes that act as bases. Their color base is not water soluble but can be converted into a salt.

Bast Fibers – Fiber obtained from the stems of plants.

Batik – A resist dyeing process in which portions of cloth are coated with wax where you do not wish to dye.

Batt – Roll or sheet of carded fiber or mixtures..

Binders – Hairs in a sheep’s fleece that run from one staple to another.

Binding Threads – Threads used to combine two or more ply into one thread.

Black Wool – Wool containing non-white fibers. Black wool is usually run in lots that are to be dyed.

Black-top Wool – Wool containing a large amount of wool grease combined at the tip of the wool staples with dirt

Bleeding – When one color runs, usually staining the white or lighter colored fiber.

Blend – A textile containing two or greater different fibers.

Blocking – The process of drying a skein of wool under tension.

Bobbin – The cylinder or spool upon which yarn or thread is wound.

Body – A term applied to wool when the staple has a good hand

Boiling Off – Removing the gum (seracin) from raw silk fiber by boiling in a mildly alkaline liquid. Also known as de-gumming.

Botany Wools – Merino Wool from Botany Bay in Australia

Britch Wool – The short curly fibers found in the belly area of the sheep. These fibers are not desireable for spinning and should be skirted out.