May 31, 2009

Sheep to Sweater Sunday n° 4 "Carding"

When most spinners consider fiber preparation, the first thing they think about is carding.

Like all methods of wool preparation, carding has some advantages and some disadvantages.
On the plus side :
  • hand cards are relatively inexpensive (approx. 40-50€ per pair) ;
  • there is virtually no wasted fiber ;
  • carding produces a lofty “woollen” yarn ; and,
  • carding is a natural choice for blending colors and fibers together.
So there are a number of positive things to say about carding .... but there are a few down sides too!

The process of carding blends and organizes the fiber for spinning BUT it does not get rid of vegetable matter, second cuts, matts, short fibers, etc... it merely spreads them out in the wool.

So it’s very important to start with clean, good quality wool.
In other words, beautiful in, beautiful out .... and conversely garbage in garbage out!

I have to admit that carding is not my favorite method of fiber preparation. That said, it does have its uses, and I hope to show you some examples of special projects produced using this method in the next few weeks.

For more information on hand carding, check out the following videos :

How To Prepare Fiber With Hand Carders - 3 videos from the JoyofHandSpinning

Wool Carding with Sue Macniven pt 1 YouTube Video

Wool Carding with Sue Macniven pt 2 YouTube Video

Here’s a photo of my current “carding” project (more details too follow!), using combing waste from RhumRaisin and Ciska. By blending brown and white ouessant wool with hand cards, I'm able to produce a "cinnamon & sugar" yarn!

The “traditional” rolag is rolled tip to butt.
I personally roll mine horizontally, keeping the tips and the butt ends together : this creates a fiber “cloud” producing semi-worsted yarn

No comments:

Thank you for visiting the Spinning Shepherd!