How to Use a Drum Carder

Prepare the fibres by opening them and removing any debris you do not want in the finished batt, such as second cuts, noils and any vegetation. Place them on the feeder table in the direction for carding. Clumps of unprepared fibre will make carding very difficult and leave un-carded fibre in the finished batt.

When the feeder table is full with prepared fibre, turn the handle slowly – turning too quickly will cause the fibres to attach to the licker-in and also loose their spring. Let the licker-in pull in the fibres and do not hold down the fibres on the table as this will result in them attaching to the licker-in and not the storage drum.

When all the fibres are on the storage drum, prepare another table full and card as before. Continue until the fibre on the storage drum is the height of the pins. As the drum nears the full stage fibre will start to attach to the licker-in.

With the bar on the drum 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 any fibres from the licker-in with a Cleaning Brush.

The fibres from the storage drum will not need totally removing if you are carding another similar batt, the only time it needs fully cleaning is when you change colour or fibre type.

Points To Remember When Carding

  • Prepare all fibres fully
  • Do not try to card too much at a time
  • Turn the handle 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

Full instructions for the use and maintenance of the Classic Drum Carder are provided with each carder and are also available as PDF downloads below.