Neppy neppy neppy – Mottons de mouton


I am in the process of learning to spin by searching the Internet, practicing and reading books. I have never seen anybody spin in my life. I have not been able to find a spinning guild in Montreal (Quebec).

I don’t know if this can work, but I’ll try asking here (this is a case of blind faith in search engines): if you spin, live in Montreal or in the area, and are willing to meet me to show me how you go about it, get in touch with me. It would be very kind!

J’apprends à filer en fouillant sur Internet, en pratiquant et en fouillant dans des livres. Jamais de ma vie je n’ai vu qui que ce soit filer en personne. Je ne suis pas arrivée à trouver s’il y a une guilde de filage à Montréal (Québec).

Je ne sais pas si ça peut être efficace, mais je lance ici un appel (j’ai probablement une foi exagérée dans les engins de recherche): si vous filez, que vous habitez Montréal (ou les environs) et que vous seriez disposé à me rencontrer pour me montrer comment vous vous y prenez, contactez-moi. Ce serait vraiment chouette!

Having never seen a spinner at work, I am not always sure of my techniques, or if what I am getting is normal.I want to expose a concern I have here with neps.

I’ve read that neps can be caused by too rough carding, but other stuff I’ve read seem to suggest that neps happen anyway.

Comme je n’ai jamais vu de fileuse à l’oeuvre, je ne suis pas toujours certaine d’avoir la bonne technique ou si les résultats que j’obtiens sont “normaux”.Je vous présente ici un problème de “mottons”.

J’ai lu quelque par que les “mottons” dans la fibre sont dûs à un cardage trop vigoureux, mais j’ai aussi lu des choses qui donnent à penser qu’ils font simplement partie de la vie d’une fileuse.

I got a wonderful Cheviot fleece. I carded it a bit before wahsing it, to open up the fibers so the water and detergent could easily get to them.

After drying, the wool was still in the form of bats, but with some neps. I think the neps actually were there from the first carding, though I did not card much (1-2 passes).

J’ai reçu une superbe toison de Cheviot. Je l’ai cardée un peu avant de la laver pour être bien certaine que les fibres soient décolées avant de les mettre dans l’eau savonneuse.

Après le séchage, les nappes avaient gardé leur forme, mais avec quelques mottons. Ils étaient probablement déjà là après le premier cardage, même s’il avait été léger (1-2 passes).


Neps in a washed batt

Mottons dans une nappe lavée


Wool charged on a cotton card

La laine chargée sur une carde à coton.

Since this Cheviot fleece is quite fine, I decided to try carding it with a cotton card, hoping it would help with the neps.

I worked very gradually on the fibers that extended outside the card and eventually got rather good results. I only had to remove a few persistant neps.

Comme cette laine de Cheviot est très fine, j’ai décidé d’utiliser des cardes à coton, en espérant que ça règle le problème des mottons.

J’ai brossé progressivement les fibres qui débordent de la carde, et j’ai fini par obtenir d’assez bons résultats.Je n’ai eu qu’à enlever quelques mottons récalcitrants.


Working at the edge of the card

Brossage des fibres qui débordent de la carde


Nepless wool! – Fini les mottons!

However, when I removed the batt from the card, I got the “middle line” that was again full of neps. I like to roll my batts to get semi-worsted results. When I stretch it, I can get rid of a few neps, but not all of them. Hélas, quand j’ai enlevé la nappe de la carde, j’ai obtenu une ligne médiane pleine de mottons. Je préfère rouler les nappes pour obtenir une préparation semi-peignée. Quand je l’étire, j’arrive à défaire quelques mottons, mais pas tous.

Middle line neps -Ligne du milieu mottonnée.


Stretched batt with persistant neps

Nappe étirée avec mottons récalcitrants

Does anybody have suggestions about how I can deal with this problem? Or are those nep inevitable and I just have to remove them by hand when drafting?Thanks :-) Est-ce que quelqu’un a des suggestions pour résoudre ce problème? À moins que les mottons soient inévitables et qu’il faille simplement que je les enlève à la main à l’étirage?Merci : -)

One thought on “Neppy neppy neppy – Mottons de mouton

  1. Bonjour/Hi. I’m impressed with your bilingual blog.

    It looks to me like your Cheviot roving is already neppy to start with. How did you select your raw fleece?

    For my first raw fleece I tried a lovely grey Ramboulliet (a very soft wool). I didn’t know to pick though it and take out any small pieces and I washed it probably a little harshly. When I showed it to my spinning friends later, they said it was only good for fertilizer because it was so full of neps.

    Apparently this is a constant problem with soft and tender fleeces like merino and ramboulliet. I wasn’t aware that Cheviot is that soft, but yours apparently is. It may have had dry tips that broke off in the washing process — causing neps. Before washing a fleece (actually before buying it) you need to hold a lock by each end “pop” it to test the strength. If it has tender tips or a weak spot in the middle (due to illness in the sheep during the year), it will break during the washing process and form neps.

    Carding, unfortunately, will not remove neps. I was able to use wool combs on my neppy mess and separate the good wool from the neps. However, you’ll lose a lot of wool this way.

    My suggestion is to go with the flow and ignore the neps. Make an interesting lumpy bumpy yarn. The neps are undesirable in a knitted or woven end product because they will work their way to the surface as pills and weaken the fabric. So, I suggest you use your finished lumpy bumpy yarn to make a felted project. There are lots of felted hat and mitten patterns on the internet. The felting process should lock the neps in place and you’ll have a lovely soft homespun felted something.

    In the future, to avoid these nasty neps, check the wool to be sure it doesn’t have any weak spots or tender tipe.

    The raw wool of soft wool breeds needs to be treated very carefully and laid out in individual locks for washing. Because it’s so fine, it breaks more easily and because it’s so greasy it needs very thorough washing. The combination of the two factors leads to unavoidable neps. Many people, in fact, don’t care to work with raw wool from these breeds and prefer to let the wool mills — which are better prepared for it — handle it. Handspinners are more likely to prepare raw Romney, Shetland, Jacob, Icelandic, or Coopworth … they’re easier to deal with.

    Good luck! Bon chance! Let me know how it works out.

    Penny in Kentucky

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s