Preparing your wool fleece with hand carders is an easy and low cost way of getting your fiber ready for spinning and felting. We recommend that you wash wool fibers before processing so that the teeth of the carders do not get gummed up with the lanolin. More fiber tips below.
John Day hand carders are value priced without compromising quality. The curved carding surface makes these easy to use and the comfortable handle will make it easy to hold these carders. They are made from solid poplar wood. The fine, 90 teeth carding cloth, can card most fibers including coarse, medium and fine wools and alpaca Tung Oil finish. Large carding area 7.5" x 4.5". You can pay more, but won't get anything better! Sold in pairs. Made in Oregon
Same great quality as above just in a smaller size! John Day medium hand carders are ideal for carding smaller amount of wool or alpaca. Because these smaller carders are light weight they are ideal for spinners with weak wrists and hands. Fine 90 teeth carding cloth that can card coarse, medium and fine wools and alpaca. Nice curved carding surface. Built to last from solid poplar wood. Tung Oil finish. Carding area 5.5" x 4.5". Sold in pairs.
Made in Oregon $68.95
These John Day cotton hand carders are the same larger size as the regular wool hand cards. They are perfect for carding cotton or fine wool fibers and angora or silk. Extra fine 120 teeth carding cloth will do a great job for you! Nice curved carding surface. Built to last from solid poplar wood. Tung Oil finish. Large carding area 7.5" x 4.5". Sold in pairs. Made in Oregon.
John Day medium size hand carders are light weight cotton hand cards, ideal for carding cotton or fine wools such as angora or silk, or for spinners with weak wrists and hands. Extra fine 120 teeth carding cloth will do a great job for you! Built to last from solid poplar wood. Nice curved carding surface. Tung Oil finish. Carding area 5.5" x 4.5". Sold in pairs Made in Oregon.
Are your hand carders worn out? Get a set of two replacement carding cloths to make them new again. the overall size of these pads is 7.5 x 4.3/8 inches. Remove your old carding cloth and staple the new on your hand carders.
You know that Ashford makes the spinning wheels that have stood the test of time. They also produce a line of hand carders with curved carding surface a nice contoured handle. These handles can easily be attached to the carding area. Choose from 72 teeth for all wools or 108 teeth for fine wools and cotton. Sold in pairs.
Ashford student hand carders with 72 teeth and a unique curved one-piece design make these ideal for all wools. Curved plywood construction. Sold in pairs.
Made from Tulipwood, a popular Dutch wood variety, these light weight hand carders have curved handles and contoured backs that will make carding wool comfortable. Choose from three Louet hand cards (Sold in pairs) and one flick card.
Louet Wool Hand Carders with medium cloth: 45psi
The Ashford Blending Board has an adjustable keel, so you can blend at three comfortable angles, and even rotate it, so you can use it on your lap. Complete with brush, two dowels for pulling and rolling fibers and instructions.
Kate from Ashford shows how to use the Blending Board
Combing wool, rather than carding, allows you to separate the long fibers from the shorter ones and the noils. Preparing your fleece this way will result in a product that allows you to spin a yarn that is more even and that pills less. Since only the longer fibers are retained in this fiber preparation method your yarn will be stronger and less prone to abrasion.
Light in weight and easy to handle, these popular Louet mini wool combs will make combing a breeze! Louet single row wool combs work great for medium to fine fibers and Louet double row combs are ideal for combing fine wool or separating the guard hairs from the down fibers such as Cashmere or Pygora. Lacquer finish. Sold in pairs.
Don't be fooled by the name, these are not small combs. Great general purpose combs. Good for fine to medium fibers, but will work on anything. Sturdy all maple construction. The combing head is 4 inches wide with a 3 inch working width. Tines are 3¾ inch long hardened polished steel. Tips of the tines are bent back to help the combs pass by each other without interference. Available in single and double row versions.
To be used with single or double row Viking Combs above. Holds one comb securely on table or counter. Requires a C clamp (not included)
Pre-tease your fiber and open the locks of fine fibers. Great for small jobs or to toss in your spinning bag! 98 teeth carding a variety of wools.. Nice curved vertical carding surface. Tung Oil finish. Carding area 2" x 4.5". Made in Oregon.
Ashford flick cards has 72 teeth and a horizontal carding surface. Great for pre-teasing or carding smaller amounts of fibers.
Regardless of what brand you buy, your hand carders should last you for many years to come. This low cost fiber preparation equipment will enable you to get your washed fleece ready for spinning or felting. To make sure your hand carders perform as they should we recommend the following:
Mark you carders left and right and use them accordingly. This will allow the teeth to wear more evenly and last longer.
Never, never push your hand cards together all the way and then pull. This may damage the wire teeth. While carding your fibers the teeth should barely touch, and your motion should be similar to a gentle rocking motion. Preparing your fleece should not be strenuous, but easy and comfortable to do.
Wash your fiber or fleece before carding. This will remove some of the vegetable matter and if you are working with wool, most of the lanolin. Doing so will not only clean your fleece, but also preserve your carders, since the lanolin and dirt of a fleece can gum up the wire teeth of the carding surface.
Never, never card wet or damp fibers or leave your tools outside over night or even in the rain. This will cause the teeth to rust. Once this has happened you will need to replace the carding cloth or buy a new pair.
Pre-tease if necessary. Are the tips of your fleece felted "matted" together? If so you will need to pull the tips apart before you card them. In rare cases in which the fibers are very much felted together not even pre-teasing will help and you may want to use this sort of wool for pillow stuffing or felting projects instead.
My pair of carders has lasted me over 10 years now and yours will too if you take care of them. I even "abused" mine, they seem to make a good lint and yarn scarps cleaner for my woven rugs. ;-)
Have lost of fleeces? Check out our Drum Carders