A wool roving is a piece of wool which has been combed, drawn into a clump, and then twisted slightly to hold the fibers together and to prepare them for spinning. Spinners who start with their own raw yarns can create rovings themselves, and they are also available commercially from companies which specialize in providing tools and supplies for spinners. In addition to being made from wool, rovings can also be made from cotton, silk, and other fibers which are used in the production of textiles.
To prepare a wool roving, the wool is combed to remove impurities, washed, carded to pull the fibers so that they are oriented in the same direction, and then gently twisted. Rovings can also be dyed; when yarn is dyed before it is spun, the color is deeper, and penetrates more fully. Rovings are generally around the length of a hand, and sometimes longer. The wool roving may also be looped back on itself to create a compact pile for storage.
When a wool roving is prepared, but not twisted, it is known as a sliver. Flattened rovings are known as batting. While rovings are generally used for spinning, they also have other uses; batting, for example, can be used to stuff things, and rovings can also be used to pad animal beds, or for various craft projects. Generally, rovings are very soft and fine, and they have a lofty, springy texture.