Fine Fibers

A word of warning about fine fibers– there is more to a fiber than the numbers that define it, there is no measurement for crimp, elasticity, luster or durability which should be all be considered. Touch is an inherently subjective sense, what one person experiences will never be duplicated. What is soft to one person is not as soft to another. Measuring systems give us an objective way to qualify what is soft, but they don’t tell us everything about a fiber.
 
How fine is fine fiber?
The fineness of a fiber depends largely on the mean fiber diameter, uniformity and staple length. That means: How thick is it? Is like the other fibers around it and is it long enough to spin? Small diameter, low variability and greater length are desirable in luxury fibers. The above has yet to take in the variables of fiber quality from environmental causes, health of the animal and care taken of fiber. These variables also play into determining fineness. 
 
Micron Count
Fiber thickness is measured in microns. A micron is actually a micrometer, which is one millionth of a meter. This measurement is used to describe the diameter of a single fiber of wool. A small sample of wool is analyzed to determine the mean of the fibers, there is a range of fiber thickness within a designated number. As this is a physical measurement, the results are very accurate. However, There is no analysis of crimp, luster, elasticity, or technically texture, there is no element of how a fiber responds.

Fine Wool is  17-20 Microns
 
 
Bombyx Silk  10-13
Angora 12-16
Vicuna 13-16
Quiviut 14-19
Cashmere 14-18.5
Guanaco 14-18
Camel 15-22
Alpaca 17-35
Yak 18-20
Llama 22-29
Mohair 25-45
Tussah Silk  28-30


 

 

Medium Wool  22-29 Microns

Coarse Wool  31-34  
Very Coarse Wool 40s-36s
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