Fibre Preparation Carding
The purpose for carding is to separate and straighten the fibres.
Rolags are usually made on hand carders and batts from drum carders.
When hand carding alpaca fibre it is best to use carders with fine teeth.
Many people make carding more difficult than it needs to be, by scraping the teeth of the cards against each other; in fact the teeth should barley touch. Card slowly and gently.
Using hand carders to blend your wools together is a great and reliable way to ensure even distribution and control over the finished mix. Carding aligns the individual fibres so they are parallel with each other and can be used to blend different fibres or colours together, You can get some interesting effects by mixing fibres and/or colours as you card.
Carding two or more colours together will give you a heathered effect if it is done subtly, or a more multi-colour effect if bright, or contrasting colours are used.
Alpaca fibre felts differently than wool and will take a little longer – just keep working it and it will eventually felt and will be much softer than most wools. It feels wonderful! However, if you are making something functional it would be more robust if you added a little wool to the project to get the felt tight enough to hold up to any wear and tear.