Milk Fiber – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Finished 2-ply Milk Fiber

Finished 2-ply Milk Fiber

I have finished all the milk fiber. It’s spun, plied, and washed, and is now hanging the bathroom drying. I’m glad I did it, but I doubt if I will ever buy more.

Yes, it’s lovely. It has a beautiful sheen and drape. BUT it is very tricky to work with – slippery and requires LOTS of twist. In the interest of sharing what I have learned, here are some spinning tech tips that worked for me.

  • Split your roving up into pencil roving.
  • Pre-draft this out to get rid of all the clumpy, grabby places. See pictures below.
  • Use very light tension on your bobbin.
  • I used the middle ratio (8:1) on my wheel. This allowed me to control my drafting and work at a speed that was comfortable for me.
  • Once you get it started, keep your hands 12-14 inches back from the orifice and inch-worm your way along at about a half-inch per pull. Your hands will be quite close together. (Some people like to spin it from the fold, but I’ve not yet mastered that.)
  • If you are having trouble drafting smoothly, you probably didn’t pre-draft well enough.
  • Spin thin, and be EXTREMELY vigilant about slubs. The fiber is so slippery that slubs tend to pull apart under the tension of plying. Consistent diameter is important.
  • I did not find it suitable for Navajo plying (see note above about slubs). Andean worked OK, as did plying from multiple bobbins.

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