Prepare the fibre by opening and removing any unwanted debris. Place a thin layer of the prepared fibre on the feeder table and turn the handle very slowly, if you turn it too quickly the fibres will become ‘fly away’ and attach themselves to the licker-in.
When all the fibres are on the storage drum they will need pushing into the pins, as they tend to sit on the top. Use a soft brush or the Finishing Brush to push the fibre down; this will make room for the next layer.
Prepare another feeder table of fibre and card as before until the fibre is the height of the pins. As the drum nears the full stage fibre will start to attach to the licker-in.
Remove the Finishing Brush if you are using one and turn the drum until the bar is at the top. Push the doffer under the batt by about 25mm (1”) and tear the fibres apart, pulling them towards the carder back. Continue along the full length of the batt.
Holding the full width of the carded fibre, drag downwards over the carder frame back. Ease out any fibres left in the pins as you go with a thin tool like a knitting needle or a Porcupine Quill. It is best not to use the doffer for this as it could damage the setting of the pins in the cloth.
Before starting the next batt remove the fibres from the licker-in with a Cleaning Brush.
The fibres from the storage drum will not need to be completely removed if you are carding another similar batt, the only time it needs fully cleaning is when you change colours or fibre types.
Points To Remember When Carding Fine Fibre
- Prepare all fibres fully
- Do not try to card too much at a time
- Turn the handle very slowly
- Do not hold the fibres on the feeder table when carding
- Pull the batt apart in 25mm sections towards the carder frame back
- Drag the batt down the frame back to remove it from the pins
Tip: before carding fine fibre, card about half a batts worth of un-washed sheep’s fleece – the grease in it will stop fine fibres being so ‘fly away’.