Posts Tagged ‘wool combs’

Part Two: Carding

February 24, 2009

Now that I have some lovely dirt-free, grease free locks, they need to be processed.  There are several different tools that can be used to turn freshly washed wool into spinnable wool, and each has a purpose.  For this wool, probably the best thing for me to use would be wool combs, which look like a pair of sabre-toothed tiger paws (really!).  And apparently a tool so archaic they don’t even have a page on Wikipedia.  Umm . . .  here’s a pretty good picture. They are generally accepted as the tool for preparing wool for hand spinning – they will straighten the long fibres, sort out the shorter ones (from second cuts during the shearing or just broken hairs),and  open up the locks to allow the remaining vegetable matter and dirt to fall out.  Carding brushes are generally used on shorter staple fleeces, or the leftover bits from previous combings, for either spinning or felting.  Drum carders (hand-crank or electric) are the industrialized version of the hand carders, and will give you a batt, which can be turned into roving, which is commonly what you would buy in a spinning shop.  Lately there has been a bit of a fad using drum carders to create art batts (like this purty sparkley one) that are a combination of all sorts of fibres and colours and even some other materials that you wouldn’t normally think to spin.  But I’m getting off topic now, so back to it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any combs.  Yet.  So, on a tip from the shearer from whom I purchased the fleece, I will simply comb the wool with my carding brushes.

Carding Brushes

Carding Brushes

Observe the lovely pile of washed wool just waiting to be turned into a fluffy cloud of softness . . .

So (keeping in mind that this is in fact the WRONG way) here’s what I’m gonna do:

Step One: Pull a lock or two out of the bag, enough that I can hold onto it comfortably.

Step One-and-a-half: Pick out any big bits of plant.  This fleece doesn’t really have any, but if it did, I’d have to take care of them first.

Step Two: Holding the lock by the end, brush a couple of inches by the skin side.

Step Three: Reverse grip, hold onto newly brushed end, and brush out the tips.

Step Four: Place the now beautiful fluffy lock in a pile, put what’s stuck to the brush in the process-more-later pile.

Step Five: Repeat, lots and lots of times.

This is the first video I’ve ever done, so . . .  I’m sorry.

Next up:  Part Three: Dyeing

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