A roving is a long and narrow bundle of fibre. It is usually used to spin
Spinning (textiles)
Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

 woollen yarn. A roving can be created by carding
Carding is a mechanical process that breaks up locks and unorganised clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibres so that they are more or less parallel with each other. The word is derived from the Latin carduus meaning teasel, as dried vegetable teasels were first used to comb the raw wool...

 the fibre, and it is then drawn into long strips. Because it is carded, the fibres are not parallel, though drawing it into strips may line the fibres up a bit. Roving is not to be confused with sliver
Sliver (textiles)
A sliver is a long bundle of fibre that is generally used to spin yarn. A sliver is created by carding or combing the fibre, which is then drawn into long strips where the fibre is parallel. When sliver is drawn further and given a slight twist, it becomes roving....

 as there is twist in roving.

Because roving has been created by carding, the fibres are less parallel than top (combed) and are not of uniform length. Carded rovings look fluffier than combed top, which looks smooth and has a high lustre. The fibres in combed top tend to be of a fairly uniform length due to the method of preparation.

Pencil roving is a type of roving that has been drawn until it is the size of a fat pencil. It can be used by spinners with minimal drafting. Knitters also use pencil roving, similar to Lopi
Lopi is knitting wool made from the fleece of Icelandic sheep. The fleece is made up of two layers, each with a different kind of wool. The wet-resistant outer coat contains long, coarse fibres, while the insulating layer beneath consists of soft, short fibres. These are processed together to...

 style yarns, or when making a thrummed item. (Regular roving can also be used in thrummed knitting.)

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