>>Hi all, Peg Mathews here.
>>Part of the difference between common soldiers cloth and the high grade
>>officers is the type of wool and how it is processed. Without going and
>>getting a spinning terms book, I will describe the process.
>> A fine, long stable wool fiber will give a smoother more lustrous yarn.
>>Different types of wool have other properties that come into play such as
>>"springy-ness", softness, and amount of crimp.
>> Another factor is the difference in having the fiber combed so all the
>>fibers are aligned the same way, meaning in a parallel alignment with each
>>other. As it is spun, this type of combing will yield a smoother, more
>>lustrous yarn. This is usually done with long fiber length wools.
>>The other type of carding is done with the traditional hand carders, and
>>makes a worsted yarn. In the carding, the fibers are carded in a straight
>>alignment, but as the wool is taken off the carder it is rolled up (now
>>called a rolag), then pulled out of the end of the rolag to spin. Worsted
>>yarns do not have the fibers aligned in a completely parallel manner, and
>>produces a springy texture. Worsted is great for shorter fibers, and
>>well in items that need to be able to handle hard wear, such as the common
>>soldiers coat, socks, sweaters, caps.
Peg brings up a good point, one which I failed to mention yesterday.
Different breeds of sheep produce different kinds of wool. (Where does
virgin wool come from - ugly sheep! badabing! But seriously folks.....)
The texture of the wool strands reacts differently when spun, woven, and
England was at its zenith in wool production during the late 18th, early
19th centuries and produced different grades and properties of wool based on
the breed of sheep.