Carding Wool

Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!

There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.

I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.

First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.

These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.

Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)

Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)

Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com

Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.

Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com

Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.

Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com

Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.

Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com

Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.

Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com

That’s it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.

 

Drum Carding

This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.

One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!

For this method, you will need:

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.

Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. 🙂

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Here is a sheet of wool that has been through the carder 1 time. You want to put the wool through at LEAST 2 times, maybe more, depending on how rough your raw wool is to start with.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!  There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.  I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.  First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.  These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.  Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)  Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  That's it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.     Drum Carding  This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.  One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!  For this method, you will need:  a drum carder one of these hand carders sharp sewing scissors Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  1. Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.  Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. :)  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

To card it a second time, you simply slowly feed the sheet of wool into the carder again.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!  There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.  I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.  First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.  These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.  Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)  Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  That's it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.     Drum Carding  This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.  One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!  For this method, you will need:  a drum carder one of these hand carders sharp sewing scissors Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  1. Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.  Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. :)  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

From top to bottom:

Raw washed wool, carded 1x, and carded 2x. 

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!  There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.  I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.  First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.  These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.  Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)  Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  That's it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.     Drum Carding  This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.  One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!  For this method, you will need:  a drum carder one of these hand carders sharp sewing scissors Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  1. Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.  Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. :)  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

Once you have the wool to your desired consistency, pile up the sheets of carded wool, and place them in a plastic or cloth bag for storage until you are ready to begin spinning.

A couple things to keep in mind while carding wool:

  • The wire bristles are very sharp, so be  careful not to cut yourself. This applies to either method of carding! (speaking from experience here…)
  • It is a slightly dirty process, so if possible, take it outside. I like to do mine on the porch. Here is the pile of dirt and wool that I had underneath my drum carder after I finished.

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!  There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.  I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.  First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.  These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.  Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)  Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  That's it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.     Drum Carding  This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.  One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!  For this method, you will need:  a drum carder one of these hand carders sharp sewing scissors Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  1. Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.  Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. :)  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

 

So now, you have the steps to turn your raw wool:

How to Wash Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.comInto a big pile of lovely carded wool! 

Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com This step in the yarn making process is one of my favorites!  There is something so cool about taking a raw fleece, and turning it into a fluffy smooth pile all ready for the spinning wheel.  I am going to be doing a picture tutorial of two different methods of carding wool today.  First, the most basic method: Hand Carding.  These two little tools are perfect for hand carding wool. I prefer to use these for small amounts of wool, but you can also use them to card larger amounts. It will just take a while, and be more of an ongoing project, rather than something you do in an hour or so. You can also use dog brushes to card, but I definitely prefer the quality carding job that these hand carders produce.  Carding Raw Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  You will need your dry, washed, raw wool. (See here for details on washing raw wool.)  Place a SMALL amount of wool on one of the carding brushes. (I had a little too much here, and ended up removing about a 1/3 of it)  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Place the brushes bristle side together, with the handles facing opposite directions.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Firmly grasp the handles, and pull the brushes away from each other. It will look something like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Repeat these three steps until the fibers are all smoothed out and fluffy like this.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  Remove the wool from the brushes, and stack it in a pile.  Carding Raw Wool  | areturntosimplicity.com  That's it! Hand carding is simple, but a bit time consuming, so next, I will show you the method I use for carding the majority of my wool.     Drum Carding  This is a must for anyone who is carding large amounts of wool. It speeds up the process by a HUGE amount, and yields nice large sheets of carded wool.  One of the reasons I love my drum carder is that it is much more efficient, but I still get a nice little workout using it!  For this method, you will need:  a drum carder one of these hand carders sharp sewing scissors Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  1. Slowly feed your clean raw wool into the bottom of the carder while you crank the handle. The key is to not feed too much at one time, or turn the handle too furiously.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Continue feeding the wool until you have filled the large drum with carded wool. Make sure you fill it evenly across the drum, so you maximize the efficiency of the carder.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  See how it takes all the different color variations in the wool, and blends them together? How awesome is that?  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have filled the drum with carded wool, locate the space that is free of bristles. This is your cutting line. On my drum carder, there is a nice wooden divet that guides your scissors in a straight line across the drum.  Using your sewing scissors, cut the fibers at this line.  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com  Once you have cut across the entire drum, use one of your hand carders to pull the wool away from the bristles. Slowly turn the handle of the carder, and continue to use the carding brush to pull away the wool until the entire sheet of carded wool is off the drum. Always pull WITH the direction of the bristles, or you will end up with a big mess. :)  Carding Wool | areturntosimplicity.com

 

 

 

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17 responses to “Carding Wool”

  1. Marlies says:

    Have you ever mixed in the undercoat from a dog in with the wool? Do you know of anyone that has or could you? Thanks.

    • Angi says:

      I haven’t ever heard of mixing in dog undercoat, but I’m sure you try do it. My main concern would be the smell. Getting the “dogginess” out would be difficult I think, but you could definitely give it a try!

    • Alliston says:

      Yes! I mix my Husky/Shepherd Mutt with Merino. It blends well enough and give you a beautiful yarn with lots of halo!

  2. Stacey K says:

    Love your website. I do a lot of weaving on my blog and it’s great to see some like minded people in the blogger sphere. I haven’t tried spinning yet but I love being self-sufficient. Love this!

    -Stacey K

  3. Karin says:

    Didn’t you get a doffer with your drum carder? It is a long metal rod with a handle on one end and a point on the other. When you are ready to take the batt off the drum carder, you slide the doffer along the seam on the drum and pull up until the batt pulls apart at that point. Don’t ever cut it, as you end up with short pieces with really square ends. Then you can roll off the batt. There are other ways to take the carded wool off using a diz to make a roving, check out youtube.

    • Angi says:

      I actually never have heard of doing it that way Karin! I will definitely check it out. Thanks so much!

    • Kate says:

      You can also use a large metal knitting needle to remove the wool. I slide the size 11 or 13 metal needle under the wool in the slot….gap in the carding cloth and lift the needle up. The wool easily separates with no cutting.

  4. Sandra says:

    Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre hop! I love sheep and wool 🙂 great series.

  5. awesome tutorial on how to card wool. Kristina is learning how to spin and this will be handy as she wants to card some raw wool next. Thanks for sharing!

  6. danielle says:

    Love this post will you be doing a post about spinning soon???

  7. I love this!! I really like the drum one, but since I don’t have any fiber animals yet I’ll probably start with the hand carding!

  8. Lizz Cook says:

    Please do not cut your wool off your carder – get a doffing pin then you won’t get cut ends.

  9. Alliston says:

    Ack! Why did you cut it off the drum card?! You can easily use an awl, screwdriver or anything long and sturdy, run it along that tray and gently tease it apart. That way you don’t get any second cuts or sharp fibres.

  10. Linda says:

    It looks like you are putting way too much fiber through the carder! You should pick the fiber open either with your hands or putting it through a picker. Also, you should be able to see through the fiber when you put it on the tray..crank slowly and feed the picked fiber slowly through the carder. As others have said, use a doffer, or knitting needle to pull the fibers off the carder. It often takes at least 2 passes through the carder, 1 or 2 more times if needed to obtain a “nice” batt! If the fiber is sticking to the “licker in” drum, use less fiber and card slowly. Good luck!!

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