Abstract: We report on experimental studies of polarimetric sensitivity to torsion and temperature in a series of spun highly birefringent side-hole fibers with spin pitches ranging from 5 to 200 mm. The polarimetric sensitivities to torsion and temperature were measured by monitoring a displacement of the spectral interference fringes arising in the output signal because of interference of ellipticaly polarized modes. The experimental results show that the sensitivity to torsion normalized to the fringe width in the spun highly birefringent fibers increases asymptotically with the twist rate to the value of 1/π rad-1 . In contrast to the torsional sensitivity, the temperature sensitivity decays asymptotically to zero with increasing fiber twist rate. Therefore, the spun fibers with short spin pitches are especially well suited for torsion measurements because the torsional sensitivity is enhanced in such fibers while at the same time the cross-sensitivity to temperature is reduced.