Fibre preparation

There has been a breakout of fibre preparation.  I got to the end of all my carded fibre.  So I started going through what I had washed and otherwise ready to spin.  Grey corriedale dyed with Eucalyptus Nicholii: before…

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Polwarth dyed with indigo.  Apparently overlooked last time I was carding…

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Here it is ready to spin.  Just one random batt.

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Then there was some angora (rabbit)–just a handful.  A Guild member was gifted this at the Royal Show last year by a rabbit breeder and since she couldn’t spin, I offered to dye it for spin it for her.  I dyed it prior to the workshop I ran along with a huge batch of fibres for the workshop participants.

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It was reeeeally short, and there was not very much.  So I carded it into some natural white polwarth.  Tweedy angora flecks?

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I managed to spin it into a singles before I went to Guild, then plied it up for her on the night.  Here’s a rough and ready photo.  She was delighted.  She is a tapestry weaver, so I feel sure this will find its way into a tapestry in due course!

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Filed under Fibre preparation, Natural dyeing

17 responses to “Fibre preparation

  1. Deb

    I am curious about how you card, do you card by hand or have one of the machine type carders? The batts look so nice and uniform.


    • Hi Deb, I have a drum carder. It’s hand cranked, but more of a machine than a pair of hand cards. I did try hand cards but decided pretty early on that having had shoulder surgery–a drum carder would be a great investment. I haven’t regretted it at all. My skills in fibre preparation (and my patienece) could always use improvement, but hand cards would not make either of these limitations go away! I usually run fibre through the carder several times to get a nice smooth result (or because I am blending).


      • Deb

        Thanks for the information. I’ve only recently become interested in the idea of carding since I have started to break up my yarn scraps, do a primitive version of carding, and respin the scraps. Do drum carders wear out or do you think used ones would be fine?


      • Drum carders can wear out or suffer terminal damage–but I have certainly met second hand ones in excellent condition. You need to check they are clean, the mechanism moves smoothly, the belt is in good condition (or replacements are still possible) and that the carding cloth is in good shape. You may find your local guild has some for sale.


  2. Susan

    NICE colours and that ‘wabbit’ !! You are brave, I cannot go near that stuff but it flies up my nose 🙂 You did a great job and it will be lovely in a tapestry. Whoo HOO


  3. I really love seeing the before and after photos- interesting to see what evolves! I haven’t dyed any fibre yet but I think it’s going to be time soon! 🙂


  4. elizabeth

    i found a belt for my second hand drum carder at mower and chain saw repairer if you are looking for belts it only cost about $4 so dont think they are not available i asked for a drive belt and they have them for all types of machines first time they had ever seen a drum carder and didnt have clue what it was for nor did the guy who sold it to me.


  5. The indigo dyed polwarth is stunning. Love the angora yarn looks very soft!


  6. Hmmm, yes , drum carder . That might just have to go on the wishlist . Do you do raw fleece on yours. Or does it have to be washed? I love the feel of spinning unwashed fleece but the carding is a drag. What are your thoughts?


    • I only card washed fleece on mine. Once you get grease on the thing, it’s hard to get it off carding cloth. I wonder if it would be possible, with a recycled plastic bag (the kind magazines and newspapers come in) wrapped round the big drum for protection? There are folk at the Guild doing this to make it simple to change colours. I tend to spin greasy wool from the lock–tease it out if needs be and spin directly without carding. I can see what you mean about carding greasy wool being a drag. I have never attempted it and can feel myself hating the idea!


      • Pity, i like to spin from the lock too and avoid carding and combing whenever possible LOL But that’s how I first learnt at the Guild. Though I have snipped off the ends of some of the fleeces I’ve had. 🙂


      • Yes, that does seem to be the predominating way of doing things at the Guild–but even that seems to be changing. I think sometimes snipping off the ends is the only way to manage… some fleeces have already had big untidy lives by the time they get to us 🙂 I hope you have a lovely day too!


      • Have a lovely day 🙂


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