Navajo Plying

There have been so many inquires about how to Navajo Ply, I figured it was time to put some pictures up on my website. I hope this will be helpful to all the spinners out there!

Navajo plying is just simply a series of chain stitches, like you would make with a crochet hook. Think of your hand as the hook! Starting out you need to tie a loop on to your leader, then without treadling, pull the single yarn thru the loop, you have just made one chain!
Now slowly start your treadle in the opposite direction that you spun your single. Assuming that you spun Z you will ply S, treadle counterclockwise.
I am ready to make another chain loop, I have my hand inside the previous loop and reaching for the single.
I have the single in my hand and am pulling it thru. My middle finger and pinky are keeping the loop open.
Enlarging the loop. Notice that I have my little finger of my right hand tensioning the previous loop. This helps prevent the loop from collapsing and causing a snarl.
I have the loop fully pulled thru and am ready to slide my left hand down and let the newly plyed yarn wind on.
Now I am ready for the next loop.
Again, you just pull the single thru the loop. This repeats over and over. Pull the single thru, make a large loop, slide, wind on, pull single, make loop, slide, wind on, etc.You will develop a rhythm and pretty soon you will be done with the full bobbin and have no leftovers!

A few tips:
  • When you absolutely must leave your plying, find something to separate the loop from the single. I have a piece of velcro just below the orifice that I stick my yarn onto and then put the loop over the flyer tightening knob on the left. I have a Schacht, so yours might be different, but you should be able to come up with a workable idea.
  • Make your loops large enough so you can fit your hand inside.
  • This is a great technique for multi-colored yarns if you want to preserve the color changes.

If you have any tips you would like me to add, please email me! Email

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Digital photographs taken by Rick Heeke. Photographs are property of Blue Moon Fibers. Please do not copy.
Created on ... May 11, 2002