[spinning] Malabrigo Nube

When I heard Malabrigo was offering spinning fiber called Nube (spanish for Cloud), I ordered several. My first experience was with the Mostaza colorway:

Mostaza 31

Wow. This stuff should be called Ladrillo (spanish for Brick). I don't understand Malabrigo's incessant desire to package all their products in the tightest, most compact and dense way possible. This fiber required a significant amount of preparation and pre-drafting to get it ready to spin. For most braids of fiber, I simply split the fiber lengthwise several times and then start spinning.

For this? Splitting the fiber lengthwise was like ripping apart felt. Then I had to open/pull apart each strip an inch at a time because it was still so compacted. Then I had to pre-draft each strip, so that the fibers could easily slip past one another at the spinning wheel. All in all, it was a couple hours of prep work. No big deal but when I usually only spend 1 minute prepping... it was a pain.

The final 2-ply yarn:

Nube Handspun

Pretty. I know the other braids that I have will spin up prettily as well. It's all the prep work that's putting me off. The good news is that I've searched around online for Nube braids and I've seen some on other people's blogs; it looks like Malabrigo has corrected this issue. 

So, if you see some like this:

Don't buy it. Unless you love pre-drafting. In which case, you're crazy.

If you see Nube like this:

Buy it. Buy all of it. Grab everything Supermarket Sweep style. This is the same soft merino as their worsted yarn and you get the added bonus of making it the way you want- one ply, two ply, three ply, etc.


Anonymous said...

Your second photo "buy like this" is not necessarily true - at least for NUBE in Canada.

It's the same style as what I bought and it is all felted.

BUT - I have a spinning mill and can comb the felted rovings into, truly, Nube "clouds" - as great for spinning and felting as our own hand dyed rovings.

I have just bought up the rest of the Nube in the warehouse and will be combing it all and rebraiding - so that everyone can enjoy the fabulous colours of the Mal dyers, and the incredible softness of the superfine merino.

Gail at Gateway Fibreworks
Muskoka, Canada

amy said...

That's too bad that your fiber is felted, too. I pecked around the spinning boards on Ravelry, searching for others who have spun this fiber and it sounds like the first batches of fiber produced by Malabrigo did have a problem with being felted. Someone said that it should have the problem resolved now. I guess I would just suggest that this is a fiber that should be touched/inspected in person before buying sight-unseen (e.g. over the internet).

Nancy said...

Thanks for this. I just started spinning, and had some Nude from months was just so pretty, I picked it up on a whim. I wasn't sure how to spin it, as mine truly has some felted bits in it.