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Hand Carding Techniques

Hereby we will describe step by step the most used and standard method for using Golden Fleece hand cards, but there are many variations of this. How well the wool must be carded depends both on the type of fleece and the evenness of the yarn that you wish to spin from it.

Standard method:

Step 1:

Hold the bottom card in your left hand with the handle pointing upwards and the wool in your right hand. Draw the wool down across the bottom card so that it pulls fibers from your hand and holds them on the teeth of the card. The card should be filled evenly with a thin layer of wool.

Step 2:

With one card in each hand and the handles pointing in opposite directions, prepare to make the first stroke of the top card over the bottom card.

Step 3:

In the first stroke, draw the top card across the bottom card. Repeat this stroke several times, but not beyond the stage where you are no longer transferring fibers to the top card.

Step 4:

Now, transfer the wool back to the original position on the bottom card. The handles should be pointing in the same direction in this action. Then, repeat strokes of step 3.

Step 5:

Remove the carded wool with both handles pointing toward you. A looser, little batt of wool is obtained by making one stroke of the upper card; a more compact, whole roll is formed if several short strokes are used. Some spinners remove the wool with one forward stroke and two short, backward strokes.

Step 5*:

Another way to remove the wool is by having only the teeth on the lower edge of the top card lifting the fibres from the bottom card.

Step 6:

You can also roll the wool lightly during removing for ease in spinning. On very large hand cards, you can make two or three rolls from one carding.

Step 6*:

You can roll wool between the backs of the cards for a more compact roll, or roll it across one card with your fingers to consolidate the roll.

Nonstandard (fluffy cloud) method:

Step 1:

For the first stroke of the card, lightly draw the upper card across the lower card, but with a lifting motion, moving the card in a semicircle rather than in straight strokes.

Step 2:

This is the second stroke, also a lifting motion. The wool is now about half carded.

Step 3:

Repeat this technique till the wool is completely carded.

Step 4:

Remove the wool from the carder.