Preparing the wool for spinning

The weaver can choose to weave a "hard" or a "soft" cloth.

The short, fine fibres taken from the front of the sheep form a yarn which is rather loose, with lots of air spaces, and produces a "soft" cloth. The wool is prepared for spinning using carders, which have hundreds of small hooks on their flat, inner surfaces; the wool is transferred from one carder to the other until a fluffy roll of wool is produced in which all the fibres lie at right-angles to one another.

The long, course fibres, taken from the side of the sheep, can be spun into a worsted yarn, which gives a "hard" cloth. The long fibres must all run in the same direction. This is done by pulling handfuls of the wool through a spiked metal comb.