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Author Topic: Hand carder v drum carder  (Read 11308 times)

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Hand carder v drum carder
« on: June 06, 2012, 04:50:18 pm »
I have recently started spinning and have been carding the fleece by hand. Is there a lot of difference between hand carding and a drum carder?
Currently I am trying to card/spin a coloured Ryland fleece that I bought at the Royal Welsh spring fair. When I get my sheep they will also be coloured Rylands. If I go for a drum carder what ppi would I need for that fleece?
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2012, 07:02:41 pm »
There is a big difference in both the process and the price of the equipment.

I loathe and detest carding. I will never hand card, it seems so much scratchy effort for so little return.

Drum carding is bearable to me, in that you get a sensible amount to spin so you don't have to do it too often.

I think we decided, on a previous thread, that drum carding was much better if you could find an enthusiastic 8-10 year old to turn the handle  ;)

That said, some people find hand carding therapeutic and drum carding stressful. Has your local SWD guild got members who have the kit for both methods so you can try them out?

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2012, 07:49:26 pm »
Jaykay I can't find a SWD that is relatively near to me although I am still looking.
I already have hand carders so know what thats about and I find it a bit labourious. The drum carders are expensive so I only want to buy one if they are a real bonus to have.
 
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 09:41:14 pm »
I shall watch this thread with interest. 

At present I am finding washing fleeces and carding laborious and am experimenting with spinning 'in the grease'.

Spinning our fleeces in the grease is fine, I find (although it isn't quite so relaxing and enjoyable as spinning lovely combed tops from Wingham Wools  ::)) and of course the resultant yarn is much harder / less soft.

I don't yet know how soft the eventual plied yarn can be made to be once washed as I've only spun and plied a very little bit so far.  (I will want some greasy for naturally waterproofed outer gear, but won't want all my homespun for that.)
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Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 10:16:30 pm »
I have also spun in the grease but I can't say I enjoyed it, or found it very quick, nor was overly impressed by the quality of the yarn I produced. So overall, I'd rather wash and card.

Even better, send it off to one of the mills to be done  ;D Expensive, but probably not as expensive as buying ready prepared Shetland or CM tops.

I keep looking at the drum careers and wondering if you couldn't make a little motor and belt...you can buy motorised ones in US at a price. Mind you, it would probably just add a little-annoying-electric-motor-that-has-to-be-kept-going to my ever growing list of little-annoying-petrol-engines-that-have-to-be-kept-going  ::)

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 10:23:49 pm »
Bionic, there's a Guild in Brecon (the Brecknock Guild) and another in Builth Wells (Brecon and Radnor Guild), according to the WSD Website find a Guild I think they're both quite close?

Oh, and the Tawe Guild in Pontardawe
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 10:26:22 pm by jaykay »

kaz

  • Joined Jul 2008
  • Ceredigion
  • Dust yourself off when life throws you down.
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 10:27:30 pm »
Jaykay I can't find a SWD that is relatively near to me although I am still looking.
I already have hand carders so know what thats about and I find it a bit labourious. The drum carders are expensive so I only want to buy one if they are a real bonus to have.
 

Try looking for Ceredigion guild of spinners & weavers. They do meet once a month in Aberaeron.
Penybont Ryelands. Ystwyth Coloured Ryelands.  2 alpacas, 2 angora goats, 2 anglo nubian kids, 3golden retrievers a collie and a red fox labrador retriever, geese, ducks & chickens.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 12:55:44 am »
I thought of adapting my drum carder to a treadle operation by using the treadle part of an old sewing machine......  Haven't done it yet, but it's somewhere on the list, and I have the treadle.
I did get some fine Shetland fleeces commercially carded but am very unhappy with the results - full of neps.
 
Mostly I card with the drum carder, putting it through two or three times.  For spindle spinning I use hand cards as they make a better job of it.  Sometimes I will do the bulk of the carding on the drum carder then the final pass on the hand cards.
I don't think there is much difference in the overall time taken between the two methods, but the drum carder does make it seem as if it's going quicker.  I find that if I set aside a whole evening to fleece prep I can relax into it more than if I prepare a bit, then spin that, then stop to prepare a bit more. 
 
For spinning in the grease, especially uncarded fleece, things run much more smoothly if you work either in front of a hot fire or out in the summer sun, as heat softens the grease.  I used to spin in the grease but hate how mucky it makes the wheel, so I nearly always wash first now.
 
Most of the work of handspinning is in the preparation of the fibre prior to spinning, but the better the preparation the better your spinning will be and the more enjoyable the process will be too.  But it sometimes seems that it takes two days to prepare enough fibre to spin for just a few hours.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 08:18:26 am »
Fleecewife, would you PM me where you got your Shetland carded? The last thing I want to do is send all my precious first Shetland fleeces off to have them come back a mess  :P

A treadled drum carder - What a good idea  ;D

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 10:21:45 am »
Fleecewife, I like the idea of a treadle drum carder. You must let us know how you get on.
The fleece I have been carding has not been washed so I am getting a lapful of dust and bits and still find a fair few bits still in the spinning. So along with my bad spinning in the first place the texture is quite rough. I think I will carry on with this fleece as I have been doing but will then buy another and wash that first.
 
Jaykay,
Thanks for the info on the SWD's. The nearest seems to be about an hour away. Not particularly far in miles but on these country roads thats how long it takes. If I can't find a local lady then I will have to bite the bullet and go further afield.
 

I think we decided, on a previous thread, that drum carding was much better if you could find an enthusiastic 8-10 year old to turn the handle  ;)


I am still looking for the enthusiastic 8-10 year old. Does anyone know where I can buy one?  ;D ;D
 
Sally
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 11:45:09 am »
Fleecewife, would you PM me where you got your Shetland carded? The last thing I want to do is send all my precious first Shetland fleeces off to have them come back a mess  :P

A treadled drum carder - What a good idea  ;D

I will pm you the name jaykay.  The lesson I learned though is not to send off the fleeces for carding straight from the sheep.  I should have done a frair amount of prep of them before they went, but I didn't know what to expect (it was a while back).
What I should have done was to make sure the fleeces had been shorn through the rise, but as they had been machine shorn they weren't.  This meant that there were lots of short lengths of new wool in with the fleece - these turned into the noils on processing.  The way to deal with that is to turn the fleece cut side up and re-shear it through the rise, removing the new growth (using hand shears).  That's a total drag which is why I persuaded my OH to learn to hand shear, then to teach me, so all our fleeces would be as suitable as possible for hand or small system processing without any extra work.
I should also have removed any britch wool or short skirtings which would spoil the overall quality of the final batts.  Ah well - you live and learn  ::)  I think I assumed the processor would sort the fleeces before putting them through the carder.   So now I have a giant sack of carded batt which I use for making 'work' clothing as well as for teaching others to spin, but it's not much good for pleasurable spinning.  I am about halfway down the sack  :D
 
Another thing worth doing would be to phone the processor and find out just what their machinery can cope with.  When I complained about the quality of my fibre, I was told that it was too fine for their machinery.  Presumably they have a carder which is suitable for a middle of the road quality of fleece, but the Shetland fleeces I sent off were particularly fine.
I'm sure there are processors out there who will do a fine job - I just didn't plump for the right one first time around.
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 06:58:44 pm »
That's really helpful, thank you  :thumbsup: I shall take your advice about preparing my fleeces.

I was just talking to a lady today who sent some fleeces last year to Border Mill which is set up for alpaca but says it can do other things too. Anyway, she was pleased with what she got back, though I think she had it spun too.

I'm going to contact them and see what they say.

Also, Paul at Halifax Mill assures me they will do one fleece at a time.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 07:01:34 pm by jaykay »

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2012, 10:06:16 pm »

I was just talking to a lady today who sent some fleeces last year to Border Mill which is set up for alpaca but says it can do other things too. Anyway, she was pleased with what she got back, though I think she had it spun too.

I'm going to contact them and see what they say.

I am planning to go and see them as soon as I got a minute... so not for weeks then :-\ , as they are only half an hour drive away. I am planning to get my shetlands done there, partly spun into wool, partly just carded. But I also have machine sheared fleeces, and yes there will be a bit of short fluff that will make knots... so I see how it goes.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2012, 10:11:52 pm »
  So now I have a giant sack of carded batt which I use for making 'work' clothing as well as for teaching others to spin, but it's not much good for pleasurable spinning.  I am about halfway down the sack  :D
 


DON'T laugh but....
roll it into long sausages and felt it in the washing machine.
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« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 11:04:03 pm by colliewoman »
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
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But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Hand carder v drum carder
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 10:28:49 pm »
Now that's a different idea  8) 8)
Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

 

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