Friday, December 30, 2011

Carding Fiber - Fiber Friday Spotlight

Wool/fiber carding is the process of brushing the wool fibers with wire teeth to align the fibers for spinning.

Hand carders, drum carders, combs and flicker brushes are all used to prepare fiber. All work in different ways to achieve the same results...get the fiber opened up and pointed in generally the same direction.

I started with dog brushes. They work fine, very cheap, just small and can be time consuming if working large amounts of fiber. My next step was a set of Ashford hand carders, love them! I still use them to this day and will never be without a set. They travel with me when the drum carded can't. Hand carding is actually methodical and relaxing to me.
 Hand carders create rolags. The fibers are usually perpendicular to the length of the rolog. You card out some fiber, and then roll the fiber together off of the hand carder.

The next investment was my drum carder. My precious Fancy Kitty Kitten. Made in the USA, right here in the state of MO. She can handle anything I throw at her. I highly recommend the company, their customer service and products.

Batts come off of the drum carder.  Sheets of fiber, that are used to spin from.   In the photo above is white Shetland wool on my drum carder.

My next investment will be combs, not sure if I really need to invest the money to purchase a pair or just have the better half make a pair for me. I have seen homemade combs that use plastic hair picks from discount stores to hand crafted comb sets made of wood and nails. I haven't ran across a large need for combs as of yet, but imagine when I decide to step it up to combing a lot of top I will.

I can see a need for Flicker brushes, since we grow Mohair and long wool locks which need to be opened. A flicker brush looks like a mini hand carder, it is used to separate and tease fibers in prep for spinning by working the fiber against a stiff piece of leather. I use my hand carders to flick open locks though really need to invest in a Flicker brush.  They say a flicker also works well for cleaning the drum carder like a doffer.


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