Navajo Plying vs. 2 ply

During my spindle-only spinning days I felt like there were a lot of spinning techniques I was missing out on. Things that are just too difficult on a spindle. They are not impossible, but I didn’t feel up to tackling them. Like Navajo plying. I tried it a couple times to not-so-great results.

So when I got my spinning wheel I couldn’t wait to try Navajo plying. It, of course, took some practice. I had to watch a lot of youtube videos. This video helped me finally understand where the loops were going and how they were interacting. 

I then thought it would be fun and interesting to have a comparison in Navajo ply and 2 ply. Last year I had bought 2 braids of fiber from Greenwood Fiberworks. (The colorway was called Figs, it was a limited edition for a Spin Along.) I had already spun one braid on the spindle, and I never got around to spinning the second braid. Perfect opportunity for a Navajo ply comparison.


Braid of Polwarth in “Figs”

I spun it the same way I had spun the original braid. I split it vertically into 8 strips. So the lengths of the colorways would be the same.

Here is the 2 py yarn. The colors are still vibrant but they are a little marled. There is some mixing and barber-poling.

close up 2 ply2 ply

And now for the Navajo.

navajo skeins close up

Of course, as is the main goal with Navajo plying, the colors are maintained. And I really just like the texture of it. I like the way the tight twist looks, and I like the squishyness.

Here they are side by side:

navajo and 2 ply skeins 1

And of course, the best way to see the difference is in a swatch.

navajo swatch

Navajo ply swatch

2 ply swatch

2 ply swatch

The difference is drastic. I like them both but for different reasons. Of course I love the color distinction in the Navajo. It’s so great to see each beautiful color of the colorway. But I like the drape and softness of the 2 ply. It is a much lighter fabric.

I have already made a little shawlette from the 2 ply. It came out very nicely, and I will show it off when I make something from the Navajo and I can compare them.

I ended up with 436 yards in the 2 ply, at 12-14 wpi.
And the Navajo was 358 yards at 15 wpi.

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