Popular class of cloths made of choice woolen stock using fibers of approximately the same length in staple. The process of making worsted cloth originated in the little village of that name in Norfolk County, England. Today, the procedure of making worsted cloth has changed somewhat because of the improvement in up-to—the—minute modern machinery.
The following is based on the woolen and worsted industry of Great Britain.
Woven fabrics are made from yarns, which in turn are composed of textile fibers twisted together. The basic fiber used for both woolen and worsted cloth is wool, but in worsted yarns, the fibers have been laid parallel to each other during manufacture giving the yarn and the ultimate fabric a neat, smooth appearance, whereas yarns in which the fibers are crossed in all directions and are not parallel, and therefore have a rough, hairy appearance, are woolen. Cloth is named after the yarns that compose it, i.e., worsted and woolen cloth or fabrics. The worsted fabrics have a clear, smooth, regular surface, and the individuality of each thread may be seen in the pattern of the weave, whereas the woolen cloths appear full-handling and bulky.
A Worsted Fabric 10-Ounce plain weave, year-round suiting.
A Woolen Fabric: 12-Ounce shetland jacketing.
All fine quality manufacture of woolen and worsted cloth uses pure new wool. However, generally the finer qualities of wool are used in worsted production, and there are also many more processes of manufacture. These extra processes prior to yarn spinning straighten the longer fibers and remove the shorter ones, and at every stage, the aim is to lay the fibers parallel to each other in order finally to produce a smooth worsted yarn.
In the production of woolen yarn, the shorter fibers may be used, and there is little attempt to Straighten the fibers.
Weaving is similar for worsteds and woolens, but cloth finishing may differ greatly to bring out the intrinsic nature of the cloth.