Fibre Yield

This post was originally published on January 22, 2013. 

This was something that struck me the other night. I got a handblended fibre club subscription for Christmas (200g of handblended loveliness for 3 months – bliss!) and had decided that 200g of fibre (a primarily Merino blend) would be plenty to knit up a project which required 800-1000m. What was my thinking for this? Well, I’d spun up some other fibre I had in my stash and got 500m out of 100g so surely that seemed reasonable?

Apparently it isn’t. I got a third spun up and plied, wound it all up into a skein and got 146m. Hmm. Not quite what I was expecting. And this got me thinking – do different fibre types impact on the yardage you spin? Google didn’t help. Despite phrasing the question in different ways I couldn’t locate anything specific to this query. So I asked Ravelry – where else?

Is it just me or do you get less yardage from Merino when spinning? I’m spinning up a batch of a primarily Merino blend (over 2/3rds) in my normal fashion – aiming for a fingering/sport weight. I have a third done and plyed – it is coming out at the desired weight but my yardage compared to say, BFL, is dramatically lower. Does anyone know if this the norm? And secondly, are there any resources out there which discuss different fibres and their yield rates?

The response I got indicated that this was normal (phew – not just me!) but that they weren’t aware of resources on this either. However, the discussion focused in fibre length and thickness. The thicker the fibre, the less you need to get the desired weight; the longer the fibre, the less you need to get the desired length.

So how do Merino and BFL compare? For sake of ease I’m focusing in on the finest ~ coarsest / shortest ~ longest figures for the ranges normally found for these fibres.



Bluefaced Leicester (BFL)

Microns (Finest)



Microns (Coarsest)



Staple Length (Shortest)

2” / 5cm

3” / 7.5cm

Staple Length (Longest)

5” / 12.5cm

6” / 15cm

So if we apply these figures to real life; a batch of very fine, short stapled Merino would require significantly more to provide the same weight and yardage as the BFL. If the Merino was of similar micron / staple length to the BFL – say 24 microns and 5″ – yardage could theoretically be similar.

Yield Data

All yardages have been calculated for 100g of fibre and are based on an average of the yarns I have spun. For example, if I have spun 500g of BFL, all the yardage totals for that fibre will be added together then divided by the appropriate number (in this case 5) to calculate the yardage per 100g.

Quality of fibre (concerning micron count or staple length) is not included, due to the average system used and the fact that many of the fibres I have spun do not come with this information. Yardages have been subdivided by weight category (Lace, Fingering, etc.).

Cobweb / 1 Ply

Lace / 2 Ply

Light Fingering / 3 Ply

Fingering / 4 Ply

500m  Bluefaced Leicester (2 Ply)

282m   Black Welsh Mountain / Tussah Silk Blend (2 Ply)

428m   Tussah Silk (2 Ply)

Sport / 5 Ply

112m   Shetland (2 Ply)

DK /8 Ply

190m   Bluefaced Leicester (2 Ply)

080m   Shetland (2 Ply)

Worsted / 10 Ply

166m   Shetland (Single)

Aran / 10 Ply

083m   Shetland / Kid Mohair Blend (2 Ply)

110m   Whitefaced Woodland (2 Ply)

Bulky / 12 Ply

Super Bulky / Art Yarn

042m   Cheviot

One thought on “Fibre Yield

  1. Pingback: Spin: HilltopCloud Handblended Club Yarn January 2013 « Aphaia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s