Last week, we organized a teachers workshop which had a session on fibers. Teachers worked with a range of fibers to test them for various properties like combustion:
There was also a part of the unit where they looked at fibers under a microscope.
I thought would be nice to try with a Foldscope. So decided to I look at my latest knitting project: a pair of socks for my cousin.
The main yarn is ‘Midnight Heather’ (75% Merino Wool, 25% Nylon). I took a small bit off one of the ends, teased it apart into its fibers and here’s how it looks under the Foldscope:
You can see the natural animal fiber with typical horizontal scale-like units along side the uniform smooth artificial fibers.
Over the weekend, I dug out my (unnecessarily) large stash of yarn….
and selected a *few* to try out. For each, I took a small bit of each of the yarns and teased out the single fibers. I used slides (cut out from old calendars) with cello tape:
Here are some cool yarn pics!
#1: 100% Himalayan Sheep (undyed/unprocessed)
The fiber has neat and clear horizontally arranged units typical to animal fiber. Also, notice the variation in thickness.
#2: 100% acrylic
Synthetic yarn is normally smooth and noodle-like.
#3: 100% Merino Wool
#4: 100% Merino Wool
#5: 75% Wool, 25% Nylon
#6: 80% Wool, 20% Nylon
#7: 100% Jute (unprocessed)
Plant fibers are normally organized into vertical bundles. Also, they are the thickness is variable similar to animal fibers.
#8: 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic
Notice the twists associated with cotton typical of plant fibers.
#9: 75% Pima Cotton, 25% Acrylic
#10: 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal
(Modal is synthetic fiber made from wood pulp)
#11: 70% Baby Alpaca, 30% Bamboo (Unbleached/Undyed)
Here you can see animal and plant fibers side by side.
#12: 50% Alpaca, 30% Merino Wool, 10% Silk, 10% Nylon
(Can you tell which fibers are Alpaca, wool, silk or nylon??)