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Exploring Fibers, Creating Yarns (EFCY) / From yarn to textile (FYT)

Exploring Fibers, Creating Yarns (EFCY) / From yarn to textile (FYT)

Learning paths

Path Target Duration Skills
PathX 18-25 2-3 days spinning, crating yarn and twine

Introduction and context

In a two-day (EFCY) / three-day (FYT) workshop, textile students have the opportunity to create their own yarn (and in the next step also textiles (FYT)) using the Studio Hilo prototyping spinning machine, developed by textile designer Sara Diaz. The yarn, a basis for most textiles, is often not given enough room in textile education due to the normally very large machinery necessary. To alleviate this problem, Sara Diaz set out to develop a small scale spinning machine that alllows for the easy production of yarns and twines. During the workshop, the students could create their own yarns and twines using traditinional (and not so traditional) fibers and materials.

Preparation and materials

TEAM ROLES - Hilo team as workshop leader (3 people, founder Sara and 2 colleagues) - Professors (coordination with universities) - 2 TPL staff as organizers and coordinators

PREPS - Clarify with professors to make workshops part of regular textile curriculums - Source rovings from textile companies - Coordinate with Hilo team


  • Hilo spinning machine, electrical hand-spinning machine, knitting machine & loom (FYT)
  • Fiber materials als rovings, other linear, spinnable materials
  • Hilo software
  • Cone winder

AGENDA [time of activity]

  • First day (5h)
  • Second day (5h)
  • Third day (5h) (FYT)

    Introduction into spinning, different fiber materials and the hilo machine. Show samples to the participants as inspiration. Afterwards rotating machine introductions: Dividing the group into 3 groups, one group starts with automated hand spinning, one with spinning on the Hilo machine, the third with twinning on the second Hilo machine. Each machine is supervised by one Hilo team member. After 30 min, the groups switch and after another 30 min they switch again so that everyone had an intro to the 3 techniques.

    Free yarn and twine creation in groups under supervision of Hilo and TPL team members. At the end of the workshop, results are presented and discussed in the group.

    The students that did the three day workshop used the yarn they made during the first two days to create textiles using techniques like weaving and knitting. The created yarn was either used alone or in combination with other yarns.

Tips to facilitate the activity in context (to-do / not do)

DOs AND DON’T ? - Group students together according to interests (not everyone can work on a machine by themselves as we only had 3 machines total) - Prepare the textile material by conditioning it in a high-humidity climate - Don’t be discourage if not everything works on the first try. - Don’t have to many persons in one workshop

TIPS AND TRICKS ? - Have materials at hand if students don’t know what to do in the beginning. - Give the students technical sheets where they write down the spinning parameters along and put a small sample of the produced yarn so they can recreate the yarn at a later time.


Links to photos and recorded materials

Licence and credits

Attribution — ShareAlike CC BY-SA This activity has been designed by Sara Diaz and her team with the help of TPL Staff for

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Last update: December 23, 2022