Animal fibers are natural fibers that consist largely of particular proteins. Instances are silk, hair/fur and feathers. The animal fibers used most commonly both in the manufacturing world as well as by the hand spinners are wool from domestic sheep and silk. Also very popular are alpaca fiber and mohair from Angora goats. Unusual fibers such as Angora wool from rabbits and Chiengora from dogs also exist, but are rarely used for mass production.
A rolag is a roll of fibre generally used to spin woollen yarn. A rolag is created by first carding the fibre, using handcards, and then by gently rolling the fibre off the cards. If properly prepared, a rolag will be uniform in width, distributing the fibres evenly. Animal fibres have traditionally been used to create rolags, but today's spinners use many different fibre materials, including manufactured and plant fibres.
Taslanizing or the Taslan process, is the copyrighted trade name for air textured yarns. In German the word is Luftex. The process is simply feeding a bundle of continuous filament yarns into a small jet nozzle with various amounts of slack (overfeed). High pressure air (> 100 PSI) creates a suction and a turbulent airstream which tangles any slack into a yarn with a similar hand as a spun yarn. It is the turbulent airflow that tangles the fibers.
Thai silk is produced from the cocoons of Thai silkworms. Thai weavers, mainly from the Khorat Plateau in the northeast region of Thailand, raise the caterpillars on a steady diet of mulberry leaves. Khorat is the center of the silk industry in Thailand and a steady supplier of rose Thai silk for many generations. Today, Thai silk is considered to be one of the finest fabrics in the world, a product of a unique manufacturing process and bearing unique patterns and colors.
A sliver (rhymes with diver) is a long bundle of fibre that is generally used to spin yarn. A sliver is created by carding or combing the fibre, which is then drawn into long strips where the fibre is parallel. When sliver is drawn further and given a slight twist, it becomes roving.
Batting (also known as wadding in the United Kingdom or filler) is a layer of insulation used in quilting between a top layer of patchwork and a bottom layer of backing material. Batting is usually made of cotton, polyester, and/or wool. Fiber artists and hand spinners use a drum carder to make batts that they use for felting, spinning, and other projects. These carders can also be used to make batts that are a blend of multiple fiber types or a blend of fiber colors.
Vulcanized fibre is a laminated plastic composed of only cellulose. The material is a tough, resilient, hornlike material that is lighter than aluminium, tougher than leather, stiffer than most thermoplastics. The newer wood laminating grade of vulcanized fibre strengthens wood laminations used in skis, skateboards, support beams and as a sub-laminate under thin wood veneers.
Asbestos (from Greek άσβεστη meaning "unquenchable") is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals exploited commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their asbestiform habit, long, thin fibrous crystals. The inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause serious illnesses, including malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma (a formerly rare cancer strongly associated with exposure to asbestos), and asbestosis (a type of pneumoconiosis).