[Jargon Title]

[H]ere are definitions of the terms used in this web page. They are here so that we are all "singing from the same hymnal" so to speak. In some cases, these definitions may be a bit skewed from the "industry's" definitions. We hope that these definitions help you to understand what we do and how we do it. Of course, your comments and corrections are welcome.



Batt - A soft blanket of carded fiber. The batts produced by my carder measure approximately 18 inches by 72 inches. The loft depends on the amount and fluffiness of the fiber.

Blow - A shearing term; refers to a single pass of the shears through the fleece as it is shorn from the animal.

Bump Bobbin - A steel cylinder around which roving is wrapped to form a bump.

Bump - Roving which has been wound around a bobbin. The bumps produced by my carder have a cylindrical shape and are approximately 8 inches long by eight inches in diameter. The weight of an individual bump depends on the type and fluffiness of the fiber, but typically ranges from 6 to 10 ounces.

Bump Winder - That part of the carder that receives the carded web of fiber from the doffer, forms it into roving and places it on the bump bobbin.


Carding Cloth - The backing material and closely-set wire pins or points that form the surface of a hand card, drum card, or carding rolls of a carding machine.

Crimp - The regular corrugation or wavelike formation found in a lock of fiber.

Crinkle - The irregular, non-uniform waviness of fibers in a lock of fiber.


Doffer - From doff; to take off. The doffer is the last roller on the carder. From the doffer the carded fiber goes to the bump winder or to the storage roll.


Fleece - The fiber obtained from an animal at one shearing; usually shorn as a single unit.


Guard Hair - Often called primary fibers, guard hair is long, coarse, fully medulated fiber usually longer than the secondary or undercoat fiber. Commonly found in all camelids and in several sheep breeds.


Lock - A cluster of fibers in a fleece as they naturally group together.

Loft - The thickness or fluffiness of a batt. Loft is determined by quantity of fiber in the batt and by the character of that fiber - more crimp or curvature producing greater loft.


Nep - Small knots of tangled fiber.

Noil - Small knots of tangled, often broken fiber that may contain vegetable matter or other contaminants.


Press Roll - A wooden roller somewhat akin to a rolling pin that compresses the carded web from the doffer into the batt that is accumulating on the storage roll.


Roving - A form of carded fiber condensed from the output web of the doffer that has been lightly drafted into an untwisted rope-like form of a thickness suitable for handspinning. Roving is produced by the bump winder on my carder. Compare sliver.


Second Cut - Short bits of fiber in the fleece that result when the shearer makes a second or overlapping blow across an area of the animal that has already been shorn. Because the comb of electric shears is flat and the animal being shorn is not flat, second cuts happen, though an experienced shearer will produce relatively fewer second cuts.

Sliver - Prepared fiber in an untwisted rope-like form often too thick or heavy for direct spinning. For inexplicable reasons this term is pronounced 'slīv-ər. Compare roving.

Staple - The average length of the fibers to be carded. Also individual groups or clusters of fibers as they occur in the fleece - a lock.

Storage Roll - A large drum-like mechanism on my carder that stores the carded web after it leaves the doffer. The collection of fiber on the storage roll is a batt.


Tender - Weak fibers usually caused by stress to the animal; e.g. hunger or poor health. Tender fibers can also result from poor storage or strong light. Tender fibers can break in the carding process to form neps or noils.


Web - The thin (just a few fibers thick) output of the carder at the doffer. The web is typically 14 to 16 inches wide. Layering the web on the storage roll creates batts; feeding the web into the bump winder creates roving.


Last modified: 2013 Apr 17 1749:59 UTC