Carding is the process of organizing non-aligned fibers by breaking up clumps and locks and aligning them in a more parallel fashion. This prepares the fiber for spinning or to produce webs of fiber to go into non-woven products such as needle felting. Carding can also create blends of different fibers or different colors.
A large variety of fibers can be carded, anything from dog hair, to llama, to soy fiber to polyester. Cotton and wool are probably the most common fibers to be carded. However, not all fibers are carded. Bast fibers (flax, hemp, ramie, jute, etc.) are typically retted and then threshed to prepare them for spinning.
In addition to spinning, weaving and felt making, carded fibers can be used in a variety of other projects. Many rug makers use unprocessed yarn in their projects. In addition, slivers of rovings look great when couched into embroidery designs or added to sewing projects as needle felted embellishments.
Drum carders are available has either hand powered or electric motor driven. They are also available in a variety of drum widths.
A drum carder functions by passing the fiber through a set of rollers and across a drum that is wrapped in carding cloth. Carding cloth is typically a reinforced rubber sheet or heavy fabric panel that has been impregnated with an exposed wire matrix. Think of pushing paper staples through a thick rubber sheet in an organized pattern and then wrapping that sheet, staple points facing out, around a cylinder. Carding cloth is also used on hand cards and blending boards.
Carding cloth is available in a variety of configurations, depending on what fiber it is designed to process. Carding cloth is identified by its density of the pointed wire matrix, measured as “teeth per inch” or tpi. The typical carding cloth options for drum carders are:
The Woolery is pleased to offer a selection of drum carders from Clemes & Clemes, Louet, Majacraft and Strauch.
For more information, visit our Selecting a Carder page
The Woolery also offers a full line of Drum Carder Part, Accessories and Tools
If you don't find exactly what you want, or would like a drum carder recommendation, please call the shop directly at 800-441-9665 or contact us for assistance.