What are the best spinning fibers for beginners? That is a question I get asked quite a lot! It can be tricky enough to get your hands, feet and wheel working together when you are just learning, you shouldn’t have to fight with the fiber you are trying to spin too!
Keep reading to learn about some of my favorite spinning fibers that are especially great for beginners! And don’t worry, this list is full of interesting colors to choose from so you don’t have to get bored while learning and practicing your spinning.
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My Favorite Wool Breed for Beginners
I love Corriedale! Corriedale has a lovely luster to it and has a longer staple length which makes it easier for beginners to spin. It also has a springy crimp to it, and I find that is is very forgiving, even if it ends up a little over spun. Ashford Corriedale Combed Top is a great fiber for beginners and it comes in so many colors!
Yarn made from Corriedale will have that classic squishy, springy wooly feel to the finished yarn. Corriedale is also very popular which makes it easy to find in a variety of colors too! Corriedale is without a doubt, one of the best spinning fibers for beginners!
Corriedale Spinning and a Tutorial!
Another great prepared Corriedale wool for spinning is the Paradise Fibers Corriedale “Trick or Treat” combed top. I recently spun some of this for a weaving project. I used a technique called “spinning from the fold” which is a great spinning technique to learn. You can watch how I spun this Corriedale combed top from the fold in the video below, and then get some of this fun wool to spin yourself here.
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes
If you knit or crochet, you may be familiar with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. It is a very popular yarn, but did you know they have spinning fiber too? Check out Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Roving.
Tips for spinning Wool of the Andes:
This 100% Peruvian Highland Wool has a long staple length. That means each individual fiber is several inches long. This makes it one of the best spinning fibers for beginners.
Spin even better when you keep these tips in mind…
Don’t hold your hands too close when you draft, or you will be pulling on both ends of the same wool fibers! That won’t work! Keep your hands several inches apart and drafting will be a breeze.
This is actually a combed top, not a true roving. Why does that matter? Over spun top can easily become an unappealing dense and ropy yarn. You can help prevent this from happening to you by using the largest whorl on your spinning wheel and treadling slowly. Long, aligned fibers don’t require much twist to hold together.
If you would like to know more about how to spin on a spinning wheel for absolute beginners, check out this post next!
My Favorite Wool Breed for Drop Spindles
The fiber that I really loved when I was a beginner, and I still do, is BFL. BFL stands for Bluefaced Leicester (pronounced les-ter). It is a longwool bread and that means the wool fibers are curly rather than crimpy. Of all the longwools, many people find BFL to be the softest and squishiest.
BFL is an absolute joy to spin and Frabjous Fibers has braids of non-superwash BFL that I have personally spun and would recommend for new spinners. I especially enjoy spinning BFL with a drop spindle because its strength and long staple let’s the spindle dangle like a pendulum without the yarn falling apart!
If you would like to know how to spin on a drop spindle, from beginning to finished yarn, check out this post next!
What About Merino?
I might get some argument on this point, but I really feel like there are many better options out there for beginners than Merino. Now, don’t get me wrong! I love spinning Merino! I really do! However, it can be tricky to spin and here’s why…
Merino tends to have a low micron count because it is a fine wool. This means that each individual fiber has a smaller diameter than other wools. As a beginner, it can be difficult to draft a thin and consistent single, but that is what merino likes to be! Thin and consistent! When merino is spun into a thicker single, because those individual fibers are so thin, it tends to end up being heavy and very dense or ropey feeling. How disappointing for a beginner (or anyone)!
But I really Want to Spin Merino!
If you are really wanting to try Merino wool, there is one out there that I would feel comfortable recommending to a beginner. It is the Paradise Fibers Spaced Dyed Wool.
This is why I like it:
- Color Options – Color is great for the aesthetic appeal, but it is also useful as a beginner because it makes it easier to examine the twist in your yarn!
- Higher micron count – This Merino is in the 30-32 micron range. While this is on the higher end for Merion, this wool still feels silky soft to the touch.
- Roving – This wool is in a carded roving preparation which is easier to draft than combed top (most Merino for spinning is sold as combed top).
What was your first spinning fiber as a beginner? Did you love it or hate it? Leave a comment and let me know!
Don’t forget to check out the JillianEve podcast where you can hear me chat about my projects and learn more about spinning yarn during the spinning Q&A part of each episode.
Happy spinning fiber friends!
5 thoughts on “Best Spinning Fibers For Beginners”
Thank you for such great information, I started with a drop spindle in May and then was gifted a secondhand Ashford traditional and alpaca fleece which I learnt as I went approach! I loved every minute. Your tuition videos on the spinning alpaca fleece has been so helpful especially when getting the tension right! Combing etc.. I have been bless with two alpaca fleeces per year from my stable yard which is just a joy and I have also been looking at different fires to try… Banana fibre being one of them…so silky to work with.
I’m so glad those videos were helpful for you! Banana is very silky, rose is similar if you want to explore those fancy cellulose fibers! ?
I just came across your site! I bought an EEW Nano a couple years ago but just got it out last month. I had an acrylic/ wool blend on hand that I practiced with (still need to ply), but I bought wool of the Andes and it doesn’t look right to me. The single on the bobbin looks very fuzzy even though the spin isn’t loose. Is that just how it spins, or do I need to do something different for this fiber?
Hmm, it can be hard to tell without seeing it. I’ve spun Wool of the Andes and it can have a bit of a halo on it depending on how it is spun. It might just be a contrast to what you were spinning before if that was a very smooth spun fiber. Do you like how it looks? You can always finish the yarn and the make a little swatch with it to see how it looks in a project.
What Is The Minimum Equipment Needed To Spin Wool? – woolmaven.com
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