Previously I have talked about skirting and scouring (June 2013). So what is the next step?

Once your fleece is completely dry it’s time to tease and card it. Teasing is simply opening up the fleece which you can easily do by hand by pulling the fleece apart and fluffing it up.

Carding can be done with hand carders, a drum carder or an electric carder.

Hand carder are a pair of wooden paddles covered in a pin cloth, they look similar to dog brushes. The pins are equally spaced over the cloth and when the carders are pulled against each other the fibres are pulled smooth.

Hand-carding is a traditional method of preparing fleece and fibres for spinning. It is quite easy to do and requires little practice.

The purpose of carding is to separate and straighten the wool fibre making a rolag or batt to make the process of spinning easier. It also helps to remove any foreign material.

Hand-carders are a pair of wooden paddles with wire teeth which can be either fine or course. The course teeth are used for carding wool and the fine teeth for carding softer fibres like angora.

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TO USE THE CARDERS

Tease out the fibres a little.

Take one of the carders in your left hand and with your right hand lay staples of wool across the teeth of the carder. Distribute the wool evenly across the entire carder until the teeth barely show through.

Take the second carder in your right hand and position it directly over the left carder. Gently brush the right carder across the teeth of the left – towards you. Do this about six times until the fibre is evenly distributed on both the carders.

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When the fibre is well separated and airy – scoop the fibre from the left carder onto the right carder.

Roll the fibre towards the handle of the carders to form a rolag ready for spinning.

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Spin from one end.

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Carders are also used to blend colours and fibres.

Once carded the fibre is ready to spin or felt.

Although I enjoy spinning my passion is wet felting and I look forward to sharing many projects with you in the near future,

A small selection of items which have been wet felted after carding.

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