Eight ways to prepare a batt for spinning yarn


Do you ever sit down at your wheel with a beautiful batt and wonder, “How should I spin this?”

fine fiber batts

I have created a free download that teaches you eight ways to prepare a batt  for spinning yarn. The way you prepare a batt can change how the colors are distributed and make drafting more manageable.

The color effects are based on a layered, vertical striped batt. I chose this type of batt for ease of visual directions but these techniques can be used for any type of batt!


vertical draft


Color effect: fibers aligned for short color changes with blended transitions

Orient vertically and draft across the top; fluff the batt to open as needed.






Color effect: fibers semi-aligned for long color changes with blended transitionshorizontal draft

Orient horizontally and draft across the top; fluff the batt to open as needed.





hand pulled roving

Color effect: striping, heather blend, short color change

Loosely wrap hand around batt creating a giant diz, pull gently with other hand until fiber just begins to draft (about one staple length); repeat to end. If necessary switch action of each hand and pull back to other end until you have a workable roving. Try this with batt aligned either way or pull from one corner to see what other color play happens!




layer spilt

Color effect: depends on which secondary method you choose

Turn batt on vertical axis then separate batt into flat layers. Spin each layer as is or prepare using any of these methods applied to each layer. Try a different method for each one! 







Color effect: long separate colors with controlled joins, color order can be manipulated.         strip split                 

Separate batt into vertical strips. Try different widths for your strips to see how the colors change.  

Try putting the strips in a container and pull them out randomly to spin!







zig zag



Color effect: If you split into strips along the color lines you get a long color change yarn or decide on a specific or random width to tear and see how some colors stay separate, some sections will blend.

Turn batt horizontally, separate fibers from one side but stop an inch or two from the opposite end, then begin separating in the opposite direction. What happens if you zig zag split with batt held vertically?






Color effect: random!

Randomly pull batt into pieces and place in a container, then spin in or out of order





jelly roll


Color effect: depends on alignment but colors tend to stay separate and add-ins pop out show off.

Re-roll your batt slightly tighter jelly-roll style; you choose if aligned vertically or horizontally. Use Method 3. Hand Pulled  to create a roving.



I hope this will get your creative juices flowing! How do you like to spin your batts?

12 thoughts on “Eight ways to prepare a batt for spinning yarn

  1. Thank you Allison for this incredibly valuable information! You’ve gotten my brain going in new directions. Sometimes I think these batts are too pretty to spin, but not any more!

    • Thanks Cathy! You make gorgeous batts already. Looking forward to what these techniques inspire in your spinning.

  2. Hey, I really like this post! Spinning from a Batt is not easy for beginners and I never really knew how to do it. Thanks for that! I´d like to translate your post into german and post it on my blog, of course with giving links to your blog and the original post. If it´s ok for you, pleas let me know 🙂

    BW Caro

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