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The MAISON DE LA MAILLE GLOSSARY

Thread, fiber, mesh, weaving, knitting ... Difficult when you are not an expert to know exactly what is going on. Good news, since we are always committed to raising you higher and allowing you to shine at dinners, here are some key terms and their simplified definitions so that you don't mix up your brushes. Or needles, suddenly. You get it.

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Knitting VS weaving 

 

Knitting is a manufacturing process that involves interweaving loops of threads called stitches. This technique relies on the use of needles. The stitches between them constitute in the end a stretchy and very resistant fabric. This is the main difference with weaving which, because the threads are taut and there are no loops like in knitting, it does not have this property of stretching or "deforming".

 

Weaving is a technique of assembling threads carried out using a loom (the machine used to make fabric). This consists of crossing the threads between them once stretched, unlike knitting which uses loops. We speak of warp and weft, warp for the threads stretched in the direction of the loom length and weft for the threads stretched in the direction of the width. With evolving technologies, today weaving can be done on a large scale and on very sophisticated machines.

 

Wool yarn VS fiber

 

It is common to confuse yarn and fiber. Nothing serious, don't worry, but let's get to the truth anyway. Yarn, whether wool or otherwise, is an assembly of raw fibers that have been spun (yarn, spun, easy). The fiber being the basic element, neutral and untouched by any transformation.

 

Carding VS Combing

 

In order for a fiber to be spun, there are two crucial steps that must be applied. Depending on the desired end result, it will therefore be combed or carded.

 

Carding is often performed on larger diameter wools than for combing. It is used to disentangle and aerate textile fibers, using hand cards or a roller carding machine. Very fine steel points which allow the wool fibers to be divided into carded yarn when activated at high speed. Carded wool gives knits a rustic look.

 

Combing is a step that is used more on fine wools and occurs after carding. The carded fibers pass under finer and finer combs which remove all the short fibers. This method not only makes the fibers more aligned and smoother, but also cleans them of impurities. Worsted wool gives knits a smoother and finer appearance than carded wool.

 

Throw VS blanket

 

Less technical but sometimes just as obscure, the difference between a throw and a blanket. To be honest, it’s simple, it’s a long story: The throw is much smaller than a blanket. You can use a blanket as a shawl, however it seems quite difficult. Although, of course, there is no prohibition on our part and you are free to do as you see fit.

 

Shawl VS scarf 

 

Again, size defines who is what. Since the shawl is larger than the scarf, it is easier to take on the role of clothing than an accessory. It can be worn on the shoulders, around the waist and has an aesthetic dimension... Whereas the scarf is intended to remain around the neck and its purpose is mainly to keep you warm. Here again, a shawl can easily be used as a scarf, but it will be more difficult to use a scarf as a shawl.

 

Alpaca VS cashmere

 

Although both renowned for their very prestigious positions, cashmere wool and alpaca wool are different. First and foremost, the main difference between these two wools is that they do not come from the same animal. Alpaca wool comes from shearing alpacas (we tell you all about them here), whereas cashmere wool comes from the goat Capra Hircus. Both are extremely soft and fine, but alpaca wool is known to be a little warmer and more durable over time. Hence the choice of La Maison de la Maille to work primarily with these fibers.

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