How to Prepare Fiber With a Drum Carder
How to Use a Drum Carder
Using a drum carder is another way of preparing your fiber for spinning. Its more efficient than hand-carding, allowing you to card larger amounts at one time. It is best to use fleece that has been pre-washed, because it cards easier and puts less wear on the machine. The drum carder can also be used for making fiber blends and working with colored fibers.
Gradually feed the washed fiber under the small roller. Open up the fiber ends to allow the fiber to feed onto the main drum evenly. Applying a moderate amount of weight on the fiber with your hand, as it feeds through the feeder, also helps the fiber transfer to the main roller. Spread the locks evenly across the width of the drum until the drum is full. You can tell when the drum is full if it starts to overflow the sides of the main drum, or when the fiber begins to collect onto the small roller.
When carding is complete, run a doffer pin or knitting needle under the fiber along the seam on the carding cloth. Pull apart the fiber instead of cutting it.
Slowly remove the fiber by gently pulling the fiber free from the teeth. Set the batt aside to be processed again later. Continue carding all of the available fiber. Separate each batt into 3 or 4 strips and combine the strips of different batts together and card a second time. Repeat carding, separating, and combining the fiber several times until you achieve the desired result.
Photos courtesy of Louet