Textile Twist Tester

If a textile twist tester, tests twist in textiles,

How does a textile twist tester test twist in textiles?

That, my friends, is a very good question 

If you have a clear description please let me know 

My dear husband saw this antique yarn related instrument and bought it on a whim. He knew I would be intrigued and love the craftsmanship, the brass dials, the mahogany stand and so I do. I also want to understand how it works, who used it, where and when. 

So far I have pieced together a little about it. 

It is dated around 1900, used by the research institute based in Huddersfield 

Twist determines the properties of a yarn, its feel, softness and strength, so instruments to measure twist to assess the consistency were developed. Similar machines are still in use today.  

A spool is placed at one end and the yarn tested along its length to check for consistency. The plied yarn is clamped at each end, the number of turns to untwist it completely are shown on the dial. Complete untwist is assessed using a magnifying glass.  Unfortunately my version has the magnifying glass missing. The number of twist is divided by the length of the test sample to give the twists per inch. 

I gather there is also a twist -untwist method for single strand yarn and some weights for a strength test but I am yet to fully understand that aspect. 

If you know more about this instrument, have any quirky pieces of textile history to share or have a question please contact me on beechwoodcraft@gmail.com

Or via the contact page 

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4 thoughts on “Textile Twist Tester”

  1. Great! I have a Twist Tester too, which is to determine yarn twist in single or plied yarns, quadrant type with auto stop & reverse for conventional or untwist/re-twist methods. It’s easy to operate. How about yours?


  2. Hi Chole,
    Yours sounds a little more modern than mine, with its auto stop and reverse. I’d love to see a picture.
    I confess I haven’t used mine in earnest, it is missing its magnifying glass and teh dials are confusing.
    It looks great though and is a good conversation topic.


  3. Spinners (Bradford) Limited
    Twist Tester
    We are a wosted Spinner who have been in business nearly one Hundred years. I can tell you all about your Twist Tester we haveone here in our testing room. Please send me a number of pictures to rennips @ so as i can date it and tell you the makers name


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