Batt Spinning 101

Here are some newbie batt-spinning tips for you. Batts come in all shapes and sizes and there are many different approaches to take depending on the type of batt you have and what you want out of it. These tips are intended to get you started with the type of batts shown below:

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One of the first things you’ll notice when you look at a batt is that the fibres are jumbled up. They’re not laying in perfectly neat little rows like in top. If you’re not sure of the differences between top, roving and batts, see Abby Franquemont’s excellent article from Spin Off here. Also, see Boogie’s blog post here.

Once you release the batt from its knotted-up form, you’ll have a long sausage of fibre:

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Sometimes the batt is folded before rolling up, so check for a fold line in the batt (sometimes, but not always present):

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Your aim is to lay your batt out in a nice big rectangle before proceeding further:

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One of the most basic ways to spin a batt is to tear it into strips. Once you have your strips down to a size you find manageable (not too thin!!!) you can take them to the wheel/spindle and start spinning. How thick or thin should the strips be? Thin enough so you can draft easily and comfortably, but not so thin that you’re not drafting at all when you get to the wheel. The strips in the photo below are about the width of two fingers (to give you an idea).

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Another method is known as Z-Stripping - tearing the batt into a big long zig-zag to create one continuous length - much like you did to create the longest strip of paper in the world when you were a kid with a piece of paper and scissors :)

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You can also turn your batts into rolags - see Boogie’s blog post here for details.

2 Responses to “Batt Spinning 101”

  1. DebbieB Says:

    Hee! I always try to get the longest strip of apple peel possible, too. I do this with my batts as well.

  2. Saffron Says:

    Thank you for this!! Very helpful! :)

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