That sounds scary, Leonor, I left a gas ring on one evening and had to sit around waiting nervously trying to not touch any switches while we waited for Transco to come and test it was safe!
Halay, I think some people use the batts like that, I've just never got the hang of using batts really, and because I mostly use commercial Merino tops the 'batt' usually ranges from really smooth to smooth with texturey bits. I generally split them in half lengthways so they are a similar width to commercial tops, then use them like that. Or if I make a batt with just texturey wools and fibres, use it like I would any surface embellishment.
Post by Leonor (of Eleanor Shadow) on May 4, 2014 11:12:53 GMT
I watched the videos this morning. I loved the noise the carder made (I'm weird that way) and the fact that it came with two important accessories (technical language alert: the "little stick to take out the batt" and the "thingy to press down the wool") is also a plus.
I'd like to be able to make custom blend batts for sale in the future, and this is the main reason I want a drum carder. I'm thinking mostly of spinners, but I reckon wet felters would have the same likes/needs? This carder seems to do the job quite well, and even with other fibres it came out great. I'm surprised it had no issue with the little bits of wool you fed the machine sideways, Zed!
How about in regards to maintenance? I'm wondering about oiling, little metal "teeth" (more technical language) breaking and such...
And... last question, I promise: would this help get rid of wool with a lot of VM? I'm buying a few fleeces this month and I suppose they'll come with lots of "extras" that often don't come out with water and detergent...
PS - The gas leak issue is sorted, it was coming from a neighbour's house and I'm just glad he and his dog were fine!
Halay, I use batts for felting as is or as an embellishment. Using the larger pieces makes the lay out quicker. A nice thing is that the fibers are already entangled so it's not necessary to draft off smaller pieces, although you can. but most batts are a little nubby so if that's not the look you're going for you could use a finer batt.
The other thing to consider when buying a carder is what you'll be using it for primarily because they come in extra fine, fine, medium and coarse. I would speak with the manufacturer to find what works for your needs.
Zed, I tried using small wisps of fiber yesterday and the space between the small wheel and the feeder is very wide so they just fell through. I think mine is made for carding art batts or thicker stuff. The instructions I've seen say to layer everything then put it through.
Leonor, I use the carder to separate felted fibers. It's a bit of a pain, but better than wasting the wool. It just takes some patience pulling it out (not apart) as you feed it so it doesn't clog the machine.
What I've read about maintenance is that most brands don't require much other than cleaning off the drums and underneath.
I really need a better carder. The one I have is ok for smaller quantities, but I'd like to do bigger pieces.
I use batts sometimes. I like to split the into layers so I can place them in different directions and fill in thin spots. I am still working on being comfortable using them.
I saw a video that said it was better to lay your wool sideways to get e better batt. I can't remember the reasoning. I usually don't because I am recarding slightly felty top so I split it down its length
Marilyn the should be just enough room to slip a piece of paper between your infeed and main drum. almost touching but not quite. you should be able to adjust it.
Post by Leonor (of Eleanor Shadow) on May 5, 2014 9:25:10 GMT
Marilyn, I would have to wash the fibre anyway as it's coming to me straight off the sheep's back, so it's going to be raw It's still good to know there are ways to clean it up a bit further though, because washing often doesn't tease out all the VM - I'd say it removes about half of it?
The noise is quite mesmersing and soothing, Leonor I think the poker is called a doffer
Yeah, like Marilyn said you can get different sizes for different needs, mine is a standard classic carder, 72 point, it seems to be a good all-round one, though I haven't tried anything too 'arty' on it yet.
I think the carder cloth is the most expensive part of it, I know from discussions about making ones over the years that was the piece that made it not worthwhile. I'm fairly certain they'd replace it if needed. I suppose hairclipper oil would be fine f it needed oiling?
Thanks, Cathy That's a good idea from Marilyn, delivery charges are a big expense for carders.
The cloth is the expensive part. the cheapest I have seen is $60 a foot.
Leonor everything you do the the fiber removes veggie matter. when you get the fleece wash the worst parts separately. after washing and drying you can fluff it up and pop it in the dryer on fluff(no heat) and let it tumble for a few min. It takes at a lot of the really fine stuff that is hard to pick out. it won't be perfect but it does help.
It's possible to turn a batt into a loose rope of fibres.
Carefully pull the batt apart (lengthways) but stop before you get to the end so that you have a 'U' shape. Lay the batt on a table, take one end between *both hands and gently start drawing it out. Keep moving your hands along the 'U' shape and you'll find you end up with a useable length of fibres.
*Your hands need to be right around the wool as if you were gripping a pole.
tip: work s-l-o-w-l-y
If you have a very thick bat, you may want to make an 'S' shape rather than a 'U' shape.