This file is a collection of various messages having the common theme preparing
fiber for feltmaking, that I have collected from my reading of the various
internet fiber lists, although they are primarily from the feltmaker's list.
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate
topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous
information was removed. For instance, most of the message IDs were removed
to save space and remove clutter. The comments made in these messages are
not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the
information given by the individual authors. Please respect the time and
efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of
these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from
these messages, please give credit to the orignator(s).
Pat Spark, Manager of the Feltmaker's List.
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INDEX QUESTION/ANSWER TOPICS
|WASHING FLEECE||REMOVING DEBRIS FROM WOOL|
|Links to Washing Wool||CLEANING DRUM CARDERS|
The Mielkes Way of Washing Wool.
|MAKING A DRUM CARDER|
|Taos Woolen Mills washing wool instructions.||WHAT IS THE BEST DRUM CARDER?|
|Washing Wool by Tom Beaudet||USING A BRUSH WITH A DRUM CARDER|
|Kate Painter's washing wool instructions.||USED DRUM CARDERS|
|Washing wool instructions from Spinderella.|
|Washing wool instructions from Woolthings (Mary Stabolepszy)||CARDED VS. COMBED FIBER FOR FELTING
|Miriam Roger's washing wool instructions.|
*Kirsten Holbo, 29 Mar 1996 . ( In answer to questions from Ruth Walker about scouring merino.)
I have not washed Merino, so my note that Corriedale is similar was only to note fineness of fiber. The lanolin (or as you call it, wax content is another issue. You will have to decide on that point.
To answer your questions:
Will the hardness of the water be a factor? Yes it is. The harder the water, the more detergent must be used. This is the same as if you are washing clothing. You must decide what is appropriate. I must tell you that I have very, very hard water, that is why our place is named Iron Water Ranch. My hair has a special highlight during the summer because the well gets low...a tinge of red appears to highlight my dark blonde hair.
Do you ever use a water softener? I do not use a water softener.
Why must the detergent be phosphate-free? Because phosphates break down the epicuticle of wool fiber. The epicuticle is a thin outer membrane covering the cuticle. The ecpicuticle protects the wool fiber from deterioration or damage due to chemicals and abrasion. The epicuticle also aids in giving wool its water-repellent property. Bluntly stated, you will destroy the longevity of your wool fiber if you use phosphates in the wash. You may even find that the wool fibers disintegrate as you take them out of the wash...yes I have first hand experience with this.
Now, more than you ever wanted to know about the wool fiber: The cuticle makes up a protective layer of overlapping, flattened cells called scales. Scales encircle the wool fiber overlapping each other. The edges of scales on fine wools (Merino is a fine wool) are more prominent than on coarse wools. The protruding edges of the cuticular scales always point toward the tip of the fiber. That is why stroking a fiber from the base to the tip feels a lot smoother than from the tip to the base...similar to petting a cat.
Why am I telling you this? Because it relates to why I keep the fibers aligned. If you keep a wool fiber aligned, going from base to tip through the entire washing/carding/combing/spinning process, you will have a softer, smoother end product because you kept the scales aligned.
Do you try to avoid detergents that have fluorescent whiteners? Nope...not if it doesn't impact the wool.
How do you determine which detergents have fillers? By trial and error. I use the detergent. If it has fillers in it, they show up on the locks looking like little specs of lint and I have to pick them out of and off the fibers. I don't use that detergent again. My trial and error has the brand names Surf, Tide, Cheer, and a few others that are very popular commercial brands, having fillers. (Can't remember their names right now, but I can recognize the boxes.) Amway detergents do not have fillers.
What are those fillers? I have no idea what the fillers are.
Have you used Orvus paste? Because it is actually for livestock in their living state, I'm wondering if it might be too mild for the complete scouring of wool. I use Orvus to wash my sheep. I would agree with your assessment.
And just one more question for now--if it is important to keep the lanolin off the wool by using very hot water, how do you get away with allowing your wash solution cool to lukewarm? I guess my lukewarm isn't as cool as your lukewarm. My lukewarm is just cool enough for me to put my hand in the wash water. Perhaps I should measure the temperature with a thermometer sometime.
*Ruth Walker, Jan. 22, 1997.
I have found the only problem with having fleece in the washer is that the drain in the floor or the tub gets clogged a little more frequently. It just seems to make the lint a little more interesting, with no harm done to the washer itself. It doesn't seem that there should be anything to go wrong...I hope.
*Sharon Costello, Jan. 22, 1997. (Answer to Ruth)
To avoid this I put my fleece in netted lingerie (how do you spell that?) bags before putting in the washing machine. I can do about a half a fleece at a time in about 3-4 bags.
* Susanne Scott wrote "My favorite teacher gave me a few batts for us to work on at home, but they are also quite dirty. I also wonder how you can clean them before felting."
* Candy Hoeschen, (?date?)
If the batts are greasy, wash them (fill bucket or laundry tub with hot water, add soap, mix, then gently submerge and soak batts. Don't agitate!! Remove after 20 - 40 minutes. Fill tub with water that is the same temperature as the cooled soap bath, gently submerge batts to rinse. Do the rinse a couple times, until the rinse water is clear. Spin excess water from batts in spin cycle of washer. Lay out to dry. I would then re-card the batts to open and loosen them - usually some degree of matting occurs - if you have not agitated them, they should not be felted!) If the batts have lots of vegetation in them - boo hiss!! The dryer trick is one I haven't seen or tried. Re-picking and re-carding clean batts will release the chaff, but is very time consuming and frustrating, especially for fine fibers.
Briefly, wool is typically prepared by first Washing (to remove the grease
and dirt), then Picking (to open the fleece and allow vegetation to drop
out), followed by Carding (to align and distribute the fibers). Often people
will skip the Picking step and go directly to Carding, expecting the carder
to remove the vegetation. It's not designed to pick! In hand-picking, the
fibers are transferred from one hand to the other, a few at a time. As the
fibers are opened and transferred, the chaff and vegetation fall out. A
mechanical picker has opposing beds of large spikes - designed to open the
fleece locks and allow the vegetation to drop out. Successful picking depends
on not overloading the picker.
I would be more thrifty than that and merely submerge the dirty wool, preferably in rain water overnight. That way the fibres have a chance to open out, the dirt falls out and you can start to hand pick any plant material. You can repeat this process quite safely, if the wool is very dirty. If you are not going to dye the wool, but want to use the natural fibres to make make felt, it might be worthwhile to go ahead without any further washing because you will be using soap anyway. So just spread out and dry it in the open if it's warm outside, and card as necessary.
*Jane Altobelli, Sept. 25 1999
I, too, am a spinner as well as a felter. Most of the fleece I buy is Romney and I buy a lot of it. The person who does my carding told me how she washes fleece: I tried it and it works beautifully. First, I fill my washing machine with the hottest water I've got. Then I put about 1/2 cup of TSP and 1/2 cup borax in the water. I use liquid Tide or any liquid detergent that doesn't have bleach - maybe a cup's worth and dump that in. Swish it around to mix and fill the tub with dirty fleece, poking it down to get it all wet. I can wash at least three pounds at a time. Let it sit with the washing machine closed for about 40 minutes. Drain and spin. Take the fleece out and fill the washing machine again with hot water, this time putting a bit of vinegar in the water. Soak the fleece in this for about 30 minutes. Drain and spin. Rinse it again the same way. Sometimes with a really dirty fleece, I have to repeat the soap part (without the TSP and borax), but the fleece comes out clean and soft - not harsh at all.
*Shona Schofield, May 23, 2000.
To wash Merino or fine fleeces for carding you need to get every little bit of grease out of the fleece, I do this by picking or opening the fleece first. Then I wash only about 1kg at a time by filling a tub with hot water (this must be above 70 degrees), put 3 Tablespoons of Terric (wool Scour Detergent) submerse the wool. Once it is all wet you then remove the wool squeezing out as much of the water as possible and submerse it in another tub of 70 degrees water containing 2 Tablespoons of Terric. Once wet in this tub you remove and squeeze out to submerse it in a tub of Hot water alone. Squeeze out. Tub of Cold water, Squeeze out, tub of Cold water, squeeze out, then submerse in a tub of very hot water, then you may spin the fleece out in a washing machine. The hot rinse last helps to remove as much water as possible from the fleece prior to drying, this cuts drying time. All told there is 2 washes and 4 rinses, at odd times you may have to wash a fleece again but not often. This is how I wash Merino and Polwarth prior to carding, as my Tathum (23 inch wide) carding machine has extremely fine wires that are close together, which is excellent for fine fleeces and exotics.
*Jane Altobelli, May 24, 2000.
Shona: Thank you for replying. I do have a couple of questions, though. What is "Terric" (I live in Canada)? When I wash wool (and I do it in my washing machine at hottest temp) I use TSP and washing soda and liquid Tide. This usually gets all the grease out and I'm left with lovely soft clean fleece. It didn't work so well on the Merino, though. Also, why do you not run into felting problems when you go from hot to cold to hot rinses? Obviously you do not.
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*Jan Urevig, June 27, 1998.
Also, I have removed quite a bit of vegetation from washed and carded batts by using the clothes dryer on high heat for about 10 minutes. Now don't gasp!!!!! If you don't "stuff" the dryer full, but place about 1/2 pounds in the dryer at a time and preheat the dryer, all that is going to happen is that the centrifugal force of the turning drum plus the air flowing through the dryer, will extract a great deal of small particles of vegetation from your fleece. I have about ten years experience hand washing and commercially carding clients' felting fibers, and find this method works 'wonders'. Also, I find carding a fleece into a cloud, seems to remove much more vegetation.
*Sue Krueger, June, 1998.
I understand why putting the fleece in the dryer won't make it turn into felt. It's just like after washing out a fleece - when you put it in the washing machine on spin cycle (once again centrifugal force, this time extracting water), that doesn't turn it into felt either. But I'm wondering why you need the dryer on high heat to get the particles out???
*Jan Urevig, June 27, 1998.
Hi Sue: Have been reading your comments and techniques for a while now and really enjoy them. You are one talented lady!!!!! I hope my answer about the dryer was not as short and "curt" as it seemed when I reread it, but I did want to stress the point. When I do the majority of my custom washing and carding, the majority of wool is dried in the dryer. The fibers do NOT shrink, but do return to their original crimp and length (that was stretched while washing). By the way, I treat each fleece or batch of fiber that I receive from my clients as though it were my own. I hand-wash each one.
*Peggy, June 1998.
You got me. I just have to ask. How in the world do you "dry" your washed batts in the dryer. Do you card them wet, or what? I just can't picture it. I'm slow to catch on, but I also am learning to explore new little comments. I also wash wool in my washing machine, but I always dry it on screens before I card it. Please explain. This is my first comment, I too have been lurking, but you finally got my interest.
* Jan Urevig, June, 1998.
Sorry about that! I forget people are not reading my mind when I write. You wrote "How in the world do you 'dry' your washed batts in the dryer. Do you card them wet, or what? " No, I do not card the wool wet. I have found the clothes dryer to be one of the most effective household tools for removing vegetation from a clean, oil-free fleece. When I am sent a fleece with a lot of vegetation in it, I find it very hard to just return it to the client without trying everything I can think of to get it as close to vegetation free as possible. After washing the fleece, I either air dry (lay the fleece out on a table or screen to dry naturally in the air) or dry it in the clothes dryer. Then we card it. If I am not satisfied with the results and feel more vegetation can be removed, I put it back into the dryer in small amounts, then re-card it. I always use heat in the dryer, just to make sure the wool is dry and the tumbling action of the dryer doesn't begin the felting process prematurely.
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CLEANING DRUM CARDERS
*Pat Spark, Nov. 20, 1996
Clarissa asks about the build up on the smaller drum of her drum carder. This drum is called the "licker on". It puts the fiber onto the bigger carding drum. With my carder, there is a natural build up of fiber on the licker on. I let it stay there, once it has a ground built up, it doesn't take on any more fiber and then it lays a good layer of fiber onto the larger drum. I only clean off my larger drum. I doff (remove) the fiber batt with a dog brush, brushing with the direction of the carder teeth. Some people have a special cloth which lays on the drum before the fiber goes on. When the cloth is lifted, it doffs the fiber batt off the drum. (Called a doffing cloth.) I do not use dirty wool on my carder, so I don't have to worry about cleaning any greasy fiber out of it. Also, I have a brush attachment which is good for fine fiber. The attachment is on the licker on and it helps to lay down an even layer of fiber onto the carding drum.
*Heidi Smith, Nov. 20, 1996
Hi Clarissa, If you can figure out who made your drum carder you can probably contact the company, assuming they're still in business, and get a new copy of directions. However, I can tell you right now that you need a doffer and a brush to help clean out both the licker-in and the carder. I use a special brush made by Fuller Brush for cleaning hair brushes I think that I bought at my local fiber store. You could use a hand carder but the teeth usually are not long enough to really do a thorough job of cleaning. MY doffer came with the carder but anybody's doffer will do. It is sturdier than a knitting needle. Either check with the drum carder company or contact your local fiber/equipment supplier.
*Suesan Krueger, Nov. 21, 1996
I find that an old tooth brush comes in handy when cleaning drum carders. You kinda dig down in between the teeth and scoop up the little fleecies. (Don't use toothpaste!)
*Merike Saarniit, Nov. 26, 1996.
I haven't used a carder with conventional teeth on the small (lickering in) drum for a while. Fricke's drum carders use special teeth on the small drum that help pick the fibers open prior to laying on the large drum. They don't ever fill up with fibers unless you hold tension on the fibers while cranking on. Curt Fricke says that's how you know whether or not your feeding fibers properly: If small roller fills up, you're putting in too much with too much tension. I just lay my fibers on the intake tray a little at a time and crank (actually, mine has a motor on it - what I mean is, don't hold on to the fibers at all!). From what I remember of the usual small drums, they will fill up no matter what you do - so I just left mine full! That way, whatever else I fed to machine would go straight to large drum.
*Pat Spark, Nov. 26, 1996
Katherine asks about the build up of fiber on the small drum. Does it interfere with new colors? I haven't had that problem. I do clean it every now and then, just for general purposes. But i don't have trouble with the fiber contaminating the new colors. However, if the large drum is not thoroughly clean, the fibers from there do contaminate the new colors. I clean the big drum and then run the carder for a while to make sure all of the excess fiber if off the small drum. Then I re-clean the big drum.
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WHAT IS THE BEST DRUM CARDER?
*Pat Spark, Aug. 13, 1996.
I prefer the Duncan carder out of Damascus, Oregon. This is because it has a pretty wide bed (around 16 inches) and uses a brush system to put the fiber from the small drum onto the larger one. This enables the carder to handle fiber that ranges from fine to coarse. Without a brush, I have found that a carder usually needs to have several different drums with differently spaced teeth in the carding cloth to accommodate the change in fiber diameter. I do believe that Dick Duncan designed this brush for his carder, but other carders are now using it as well. For instance the Fricke carder has the option available.
*Merike Saarniit, Aug. 15, 1996.
Personally, I really like the Fricke carders (especially the 05 card cloth on large drum and "slicker licker" cloth on small drum). Very versatile and options for interchangeable drums, add/remove motor attachment, brush attachment, etc. The cost is really great. The "slicker licker" intake drum doesn't have the usual card cloth teeth on it - rather, these are broad, flat, angled "teeth" that actually help pick the fleece open as its transferring it to large drum. There's absolutely NO fiber build up on small drum - ever. (Unless you're feeding it in wrong.) The extra fine card cloth (05) cards my Lincoln fleece perfectly - the 1st time through. It's also great for carding/blending fine fibers. Yes, I sell these - along with some other brands.
*Ruth Walker, May 4, 1998
I have a Pat Green "Beverly" with a fur drum. This model has another belt which is set up to slow down the infeed drum relative to the big drum, so you need to card fewer times to blend something. I really like this carder, and I use it almost daily to spread my fibers out to make thin, even little batts (0.25 oz). I'm not sure you'd need something this expensive for that, however. Rita Buchanan likes to spin Suffolk wool for her wool yarns. It has a wonderful bounce, and it hardly felts at all!
*Barbara Carlbon, May 4, 1998
Now using a Patrick Green with motor. I have a production drum and a merino drum. It has been a workhorse and so well made. I have tried various other makes and found that the PG is better made, has better cloth, is capable of many adjustments for different fibers not possible with others, comes apart for a good cleaning, etc. If you can afford one it's worth it. No affiliation, just my humble 2 cents.
*Candy Hoeschen, May 4, 1998.
Another 2-cents - if you're going to buy an electric drum carder, try it out before you buy, on the variety of fibers you'll be processing (and blending), with the type of pre-carding processing you will do (picked vs. roughly opened locks). The speed, wire sett of the carding cloth, relative positioning of the small licker-in roller in relation to the drum, amount of picking/prep work etc. ALL have a part to play in the quality of batt produced. Run the fiber through at least twice - after each run, hold the batt up to the light and look for how evenly the fibers are distributed - not only lengthwise, but also edge to edge. If there are rough spots, run it again. If they're still there after 3 times, something's wrong - usually the carding cloth is not suited to the fiber. Test for blend-ability by taking black and white fiber - how many times does it take to get an acceptable even distribution - my experience is 4 to 6 times. Also look for the presence of noily neppy knots - this can be the fault of the fiber, not the carder. A break or weak tips can be their cause.
I've read with interest the various recommendations on the different manufacturers - but you need to try them. I didn't like the Fricke at all - way too slow compared to my carder and way too many neppy pieces slip by the slicker-licker. But I don't hand-pick every second cut out before I start carding, and count on my licker-in to catch these. (I own a custom-built and the machinist isn't making them anymore . . .) Many swear by the brush that Duncan uses to pack/press the fibers on the drum. Each carder has it's pros and cons.
For manual drum carders, my favorites have been the Louet because the teeth
are longer (you get a thicker batt) and the Mark IV (out of Canada), a
*Susan Murphy, May 4, 1998.
Hi All, I too have a Pat Green SuperCard . I love it, it makes the most beautiful batts and most of all very quiet.
*Susan Krueger, May 5, 1998
Having used various brands studying at feltmaking at university, I have come to the conclusion that brand does not matter, but point size does for felting. While the finer size may be more suitable for spinning, I think a larger size is more desirable for felting: the batts are easier to remove from the drum when there's more space between all the little teeth.
*Nancy Langford, May 12, 1998.
I have a Duncan carder, made by Dick Duncan. His address is: Duncan Fiber Enterprises, 21740 S.E. Edward Dr. Clackamas, OREGON 97015 (503)658-4066 As of a few years ago, here is the pricing. 8" Hand operated:$340 (I have this one) 16" $595, 16" Mototized $1,195. I've been very pleased with my carder and Mr. Duncan is about the most pleasant person I've ever done business with. My #2 favorite carder is the Ashford.
*Kate Carras, Nov. 23, 1998.
I have a Clemes and Clemes that I bought used several years ago and have been very happy with. I think it has a medium card cloth, though, and I have had trouble carding merino fleece and other short fleeces on it. When I put merino top through it to make bats for felting, it is not a problem. I have heard a lot of good things about the Patrick Green carder and if money were no object, I would get one of those. I think you can get changeable drums so you can go from medium fibers to fine fibers, even angora. You need the proper card cloth for the fiber you want to card. My medium carder has been fine for everything from blue-face leiceser to border leicester to cotswold.
*Ruth Walker, Nov. 23, 1998.
I have a Patrick Green "Beverly", which has the slower in-feed. I have the "Fur" drum on it. I could only be happier if it were bigger and I had the motor! Otherwise, I am very pleased. I like the slower in-feed because I don't have to make as many passes through the carder to blend. I like that I can adjust the distance between the drums, a feature which is not on all carders. And I like the Fur drum because it will card fine fibers, but also coarser ones if they are well-picked.
*Pat Spark, Nov. 24, 1998.
For carding fine fiber on a drum carder with medium teeth, many companies add the Duncan brush which brushes the fine fiber from the licker on drum to the larger drum and keeps it from balling up between the coarser teeth.
*Peg Jensen, Nov. 24, 1998.
I learned carding on a Fricke carder. I have found them to do the best carding job, and also are more durably built. I own 2 of them. one for my dark wools, and a double wide I use for my white wools. I've used them for going on 5 years. I wouldn't recommend any other. I also am a dealer for Fricke. If interested you can contact me privately email at firstname.lastname@example.org I use them mostly for felting, and for spinning--only enough yarn to trim my hand felted hats.
*Pat Spark, May 10, 1999.
I'm sure that everyone has their favorites. My carder is an electric Duncan. It has a brush on it so that I can use it for a variety of fiber diameters without having to change carding cloth. I use it for superfine merino as well as karakul, so it covers a wide range. I used to have a Patrick Green carder, which I also liked, but I had to change the drums (each with different carding cloth) to be able to card fine or coarse fiber. I imagine that now, the Patrick Greens have a brush as well. Many people like the Fricke in my area. Also, in addition to having a brush, I think its important for the carder to be able to be adjusted for fiber length. That is, that the larger drum can be adjusted to be moved away from the licker on drum if the fiber is longer.
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MAKING A DRUM CARDER
Plans for how to do it: http://www.herran.com/textile/discuss/messages/2670.html
Information on why you shouldn't do this: http://www.strauchfiber.com/FiberForum/viewtopic.php?p=34&sid=72887537eeb9db72851fbb86d23c578a
*Janet, Nov. 23, 1998.
I do have blueprint and instructions to make a drum carder if that would help I can tell you where to order them. It was a little time-consuming but that may have been the fact that I have NO woodworking skills and 7 thumbs. It works and well and was much less costly that buying one. It can all so be made in many sizes.
*Kirk Scott, Nov. 23, 1998.
Hi Janet, Kirk here from the Feltmakers List. Would you please tell me where to buy the carder blueprints and instructions? Also, does it give suppliers for parts for it like the card clothing? Many, many thanks.
*Margrett Stretton, Nov. 23, 1998.
There is also some really nice plans on a Drum Carder in Wheels and Looms by David Bryant on page 110. There are looms, wheels, carder, spindles, stools distaff, all kinds of accessories etc. Its a real neat book about 186 pages of diagrams, pictures, full explanations and a whole world of other information. I have uses mine lots over time. It explains the different ones and how to use them and why. Well worth your while to read. there is a list of suppliers in the back, but the book is a 1987 publication and may be a bit out of time. Its a British publication.
*Kelley Nov. 24, 1998.
I looked at Amazon for this one and it's out of print. It's not even listed at amazon.uk, though, which I thought was weird. But anyway, they will look for OP books, if anyone's interested.
*March 20, 2007. A search on the internet found that this book has drum carder plans: Spinning and Weaving with Wool by Paula Simmons
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USING A BRUSH WITH A DRUM CARDER
*Karla Newsom asks: I'm hearing some talk about the brushes on some of the drum carders - what are they for?? I'm hoping to do some serious looking while I'm at woolFest in Estes Park, Colorado in June, so the better prepared the better the final decision! (i hope <G>)
*Pat Spark, Mar. 1966
A man named Duncan in Oregon has come up with a brush which attaches above the small drum (called the licker-on). As the fiber goes under this drum, the brush helps to place it onto the big drum. This is especially important for fine fibers. Often the carding cloth on drum carders is designed to separate and card a medium to coarse sized fiber. The fine fibers can slip right through between the teeth and not become separated and carded. The brush places the fine fiber onto the large drum and allows it to be carded, even if the teeth are designed for coarser fiber.
Some manufacturers make drums with different carding cloth where the teeth are placed closer together for fine fiber, other drums where the teeth are farther apart for coarser fibers. The brush allows you to use one coarser drum for all types of fiber so you do not need different drums.
>Also i've heard about the new attachment for the PG carders - the one that Sue McFarland helped come up with. I guess >I don't understand exactly what it does either!
I don't know about this attachment for the Patrick Green carders. I sold my PG many years ago and bought an electric Duncan carder. I really like it.
>I'm mostly planning on doing fine wools (merino, targhee), silks, and maybe some cotton & other blending too. Right >now my yarns are mostly for petting <G> with a couple being used in some knit/felted/fulled pouches and probably >some will end up in other small projects as well.
The brush that Duncan has designed can be used on different carders as well
as his own. It is terrific for furs as well as fine wool. I haven't tried
it on cotton, but it should work.
*Charlie Montgomery, Mar. 22, 1996
In answer to a question from Karla about the use of brushes on a drum carder:
Brushes on drum carders are a big benefit for short and fine fibers. They are long, soft brush bristles. They do the following:
1) Reduce the fly-away tendency of some fibers like angora bunny and mohair
so you get more on the drum rather than flying in the air.
2) Build a thicker batt by pressing the fibers down into the teeth of the cloth on the main drum.
3) Enhances carding action, especially for short fibers, by straightening more of the fibers and yielding a better carded batt.
With a brush you can successfully card fibers that are impossible otherwise. Dick Duncan developed the application of the brush and has a patent on it. He makes the brush for other brands of carders and licenses its manufacture by yet others.
Patrick Green chose not to license Dick's device, but rather to try and circumvent it. His device is long, fine wire teeth that only accomplish #2 above.
The Fricke carders offer all the features of both Duncan and Patrick Green. They have interchangeable drums, a choice of three cloths and a large input tray that is convenient for blending.
In addition they have features that no other carder has. The feature a special cloth on the small (licker-in) drum that has short fat teeth with no bend. With this cloth the licker drum never becomes clogged and never needs cleaning. This can be a *big* time saver. Secondly the Fricke carders feature a chain drive between the drums. This is a big benefit for two reasons. There is almost no fricton to the chain as there is to the plastic belts that Duncan and Patrick Green use, thus the carder is easier to turn. Also the chain will *never* wear out unlike the belts which will ultimately stretch, harden or break and require replacement. a Duncan Style brush is available for all Fricke Carders.
Fricke's carders are available in single(8") and double wide(15") models
, hand or electric powered.
* Anne Field, May, 1996.
I have just returned from a month's teaching trip in Australia, and have just finished reading a month of e-mail messages - a long job.
While in Australia teaching spinning workshops I came across a great way to use a brush on a drum carder that was new to me, but it worked really well. As the wool goes onto the large roller, brush it lightly with a hearth brush (I don't know if that is what you call it in other countries. It is a brush with long, soft bristles used for the hearth in front of the fireplace).
This flattens that batt, and helps to get it off the roller in one piece. It sounds a much cheaper alternative than other ways discussed. I am trying to remember which way the roller was brushed. It must have been the same way the teeth sloped, I guess.
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USED DRUM CARDERS
Candy Hoeschen, Nov. 23, 1998.
Check out the Housecleaning Page. You can also place a WANTED ad with them. http://together.net/~kbruce/kbbcard.html
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Last updated: March 20, 2007