Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gimp and Boucle'

When I was learning to spin, I was told that the yarn on the left was called a 'gimp' and the yarn on the right was a 'boucle' (accent over the e').

Since I'm not really a spinner I don't know the finer points of distinction in how they are constructed but they are both spun.

To my eye the biggest difference is that the loops in the boucle' have lots of air in them. They are a true loop.

The gimp has a much stiffer hand which leads me to believe that it has much more twist in it. It *looks* like there is a core around which the tightly spun silk is spun. The little knobs have no space or air in them and they are like a little bead in comparison to the loop in the boucle' which is very soft and lofty.

The two yarns have very different hands. The mohair loop is lovely and soft; the silk gimp is harder and much more textured to the touch. They both weave up nicely - I don't think I've had a broken end in either yarn - but they make drasticly different qualities of cloth.

Some people feel the silk gimp and they do not find it tactilely satisfying at all. They wonder what on earth you could make that would be nice. They decide that it isn't a good yarn.

But it actually makes quite a nice shawl set at 10 epi and woven square in plain weave. The little 'beads' of the gimp help hold everything together - although the cloth is 'delicate' - I think it's actually quite A Good Yarn.

Currently reading A Play of Piety by Margaret Frazer

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