A gamp is a term for a fabric in which there are warp stripes with corresponding weft stripes.
A gamp can be created using color, or weave structure. See our gamp page for more information!
When weaving the color gamps from our 20 color or 27 color kits, we have planned for 4″ fringe on each end of the gamp. Please note that you need to be frugal…you will have exactly enough warp if you plan on 4″ of fringe on each gamp…including the first gamp with your tie-on amounts, and the last gamp with the waste yarn as the fringe. If you need more yarn for tying on, plan to hem one or two gamps to give yourself enough yarn.
You will need to rethread your loom between gamps if you want to dramatically change the structure. You can usually get a plain weave gamp from a twill, huck lace or summer and winter threading. However, if you want to do a huck lace gamp as well as a twill gamp, then you will need to rethread. We have some helpful hints on rethreading here
We like weaving twill and plain weave gamps at the same sett, so if you choose a middle sett you won’t need to resley. 24 epi for 10/2 yarn, 18 epi for 5/2 yarn and 36 epi for 20/2 yarn. And even the lace weaves come out well at these setts.
Our Tubular Spectrum Mercerized cotton yarns are similar in size to the crochet threads with the same number. For example, #3 Crochet thread is approximately the same size as our 3/2 Mercerized cotton yarn. The main difference is the way the yarn is twisted. Our yarns have an S-ply to them, and crochet yarn has a Z-ply to it. Try the yarn to see if it works for you!
Our cones weigh about an ounce or 27 grams, for those who like the metrics.
Yes, we take into account the weight of the cone on each cone of yarn we sell. A mini cone will have 1 1/2 ounces of yarn, an 8 ounce cone will have 8 ounces and an 1 pound cone will have one pound of yarn. Yardage will vary depending on the size of yarn you purchase. Click to see the table with the yardage calculations.
This year our Dark Green and Light Green American Maid Yarns are pretty close in color on the cones. That is, until you wash them. This year the green cotton lint was fairly light so when we blend it with the white cotton to get the light green yarn, it doesn’t look that different from the dark until you wash them. Once you wash the yarn, they look markedly different. If you want to see how the color changes with washing, take a small reeling or butterfly of both yarns and wash them in hot water with some baking soda. Then when the yarns dry you will see how the color has changed.
Can you mix mercerized and unmercerized yarns in the same project? The answer depends on the project and how you mix them. Because mercerized and unmercerized cottons shrink differently, if you mix them as stripes you can get a seersucker effect, and that can be a lot of fun. You can easily and safely use one as warp and the other as weft; the unmercerized direction will shrink more than the Mercerized direction, but that isn’t a huge problem. You can also mix them thread by thread; the resulting fabric will be a mixture of the 2 but because they are interspersed so closely, neither will cause striping. So, mixing mercerized and unmercerized can be an adventure!
- Don’t use fabric softener in the water, or dryer sheets. The additional chemicals seem to increase the water repellency of the American Maid™ yarns.
- Wash the towels in hot water. This helps eliminate any of the naturally occurring waxes on the cotton and any remaining machine oil.
- Because we all have different settings on our hot water, if the towels are still not as absorbant as you would like after using your hot tap water, boil the towels for a couple of minutes. The additional heat will remove any remaining wax and makes the towels wonderfully absorbent.
Sustainability is the creation and maintenance of a productive harmony between humans and nature. This harmony fulfills the social and economic requirements of both present and future generations. Our commitment to sustainability influences every decision we make as our yarns travel along their production path to you.
As we produce our cotton yarns, we weigh our choices against two cornerstone tenets of sustainability:
- The need to reduce the amount of chemicals and water used to produce the raw materials, and
- The need to minimize the distance the raw materials have to travel.
The Sustainable Cotton Project
We are currently working with an exciting project in California called The Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP). This project educates American cotton farmers about the economic and environmental benefits of using readily available growing methods that significantly reduce pesticide, herbicide and water usage, and is helping to promote this Cleaner Cotton.
We are excited to support these progressive farming efforts as we purchase the cotton lint that is going into our line of American Maid™ cotton. This Cleaner Cotton satisfies both of our sustainability issues: locally produced, and reduced chemical usage. As more textile manufacturers purchase the Cleaner Cotton, the amount of chemicals used in the production of clothing and yarns will be significantly reduced.
Those two terms are different names for the same thing. Mercerization was developed by John Mercer as a way to increase the strength, luster and dye-ability of cotton yarns.
When cotton yarn is dipped into a strong alkaline solution such as lithium hydroxide, caustic soda, or potassium hydroxide, the fibers swell and their chemical structure changes form. Then, when the fibers are placed under tension while in this swollen state and rinsed with water, the alkali will be removed and a permanent silk-like luster results.
We try really hard to make the colors that appear on your screen represent the colors that the yarns are. However, as everyone’s computer monitor is different, and as we have learned, everyone sees color differently, the colors on the screen are only a representation of the yarn’s color.
If you want to see the yarns up close and personal, please order a color card of those particular yarns.
We also have assigned Hex, RGB and Pantone colors for our Tubular Spectrum Mercerized Cotton Yarns. Click HERE to see those numbers.
We know that these yarns are 100% “made” in America, but we like to play with words in our “looney” ways.
We had visions of a young American farmer jumping up into her tractor and heading off through the cotton field. So, the “maid” part came along with that image. Short for maiden.
All yarns have their conventions for naming and sizes. In cotton yarns, the number preceding the slash refers to the diameter of the cotton yarn, and the number after the slash refers to the number of plys. So a 5/2 yarn is a 2 ply yarn made up of size 5 yarns. As the number preceding the slash gets bigger, the thickness of the yarn gets thinner.
Cotton yarns have a standard length per pound that is based on a single ply, size 1 yarn (1/1) having 840 yards per pound.
Therefore, a size 5, single ply yarn (5/1) is 5 times thinner than a size 1 single-ply yarn (1/1). Size 5/1 yarn =4,200 yards per pound.
Then, a 5/2 yarn = 2,100 yards per pound. 5/2 yarns have half as many yards per pound as 5/1 yarns.
Unfortunately, each fiber type has its own naming conventions.
Wool usually goes by the system of plies/size. So a 2/18 wool yarn has 2 plies of a size 18 yarn.
A size 1 wool yarn has 560 yards per pound.
There is yet another scale for bast fibers: A size 1 yarn has 300 yards per pound.
Then, the naming is similar to cotton: 20/1 or 10/3 etc. The first number refers to the size of the yarn, and the second number refers to the number of plies.
So, 3 things to remember: Cotton 840, Wool 560 and Linen 300.
The 5/2 and 10/2 mercerized cotton yarns that we have in Tubular Spectrum™ Colors and Natural are carded.
The 20/2 is combed.
Combing and carding are two ways to prepare the raw fiber for spinning.
In order to make yarn, the raw fibers need to be fluffed up and aligned prior to spinning.
- Carding creates a slightly fuzzier yarn as not as many of the fibers are aligned.
- Combing creates a smoother yarn as the fibers are more aligned. Combing is the more expensive process as you have higher waste involved than with carding.
Our mercerized Tubular Spectrum™ yarns are dyed in North Carolina. However, the yarns themselves are produced in Egypt.
All mercerized yarns come from outside the US at this time. RL Stowe was the last US mill to produce mercerized yarn, and they closed their factory in 2009.
When a mill starts making mercerized cotton yarn in the US, we will be among the first customers.
We understand that running into a knot can be irritating, but it is a necessary evil.
Because we wind the yarn into a variety of weights from large mill cones, there will be an occasional “tie on”. This means that when we get to the end of one mill cone, we will tie on another to keep the winding continuous. When we do the tie on, we try to leave a 1" tail so the knot is obvious and you can remove it when winding your warp or bobbin.
Occasionally, you will find splices or smaller knots in the yarn as well. The splices are from the mill where the yarn is spun and plied, and the small knots are usually from our dye house when they backwind onto cones from the dye tubes. We usually don't see these smaller knots and splices when we wind onto our cones. If you have more than one knot per cone, please let us know and we can replace the yarn.
Years ago, we started this business with the thought of naming the business “The Lunatic Fringe”. Then when sitting around thinking about the name, the pun of the “Loon in the Attic” came up as a substitute for Lunatic. And because we were avid bird watchers, this seemed to be a delightful “spin” on the concept.
If there is a problem with your order, or we have a question about colors or shipping methods, we may try to contact you via telephone or email.
We do not sell or otherwise give out your telephone or email address.
We try to get orders processed and out the door within 2 days of receiving the order.
If there will be any further delays, we will let you know via email or phone call.
Our warehouse is located in Fruitland, Idaho, and all orders ship from that location.
We are now an entirely Idaho business, and as such, we are required to collect sales tax from residents of the state of Idaho.
All other state residents are required to submit the sales tax due on the sales to their own state.
As of January 2019, Idaho residents are charged 6% on all purchases.