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Topic: Problems with carding very fine wool  (Read 1270 times)
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« on: January 13, 2007 03:03:07 PM »

I've got some wool from a Swedish breed called 'Finullsfår' (direct translation is fine wool sheep). The wool is super crimpy, soft, pretty short staple and there's quite a bit of lanolin in it. Unfortunately I can't wash it because it's been run through a drum carder a few times and I think it would felt way to much.

My problem is that when I try to card it loads of small lumps, or knots forms. I can spin with it but it's hard to get the fine and even yarn I want with all the knots. I've tried combing it, and when I spin from the top I'm able to produce a better and more even yarn because no knots form during the combing. A lot of the wool is wasted though and it's really hard getting anything off the combs, because of the short staple I guess.

Should I continue my struggle with the combs or is there anything I can do to be able to card it?

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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007 04:09:03 PM »

Fine wool requires a lot of teeth per square inch/centimeter in order to card it right. Maybe your combs don't have enough teeth?

I wouldn't hesitate to wash a batt either. Try a small piece first and see how that goes. I've helped to dye batts by shoving them into a crock pot and that didn't felt it so you should be okay.

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007 06:45:14 PM »

Call me thick headed but why can't you just try spinning it from the batt?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007 12:55:22 AM »

Superfine wool is notorius for pilling (small balls of fluff). A lot of experienced spinners i know won't spin it unless they card it with other wool.Personally i prefer to spin it greasy straight from the lock. If you put it to soak in very hot water with detergent and a small amount of washing soda in the batt or the fleece and do it a few times it will help degrease the wool. You can lose up to 50% of the weight in the washing in finer wool to. Unfortunately even when clean and carded the pilling will be a problem you will just have to persevere with unless you blend it with something else. Sorry.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007 01:59:32 AM »

TheBon: From my earlier experiences with this wool (dyeing and washing) It felts quite easily. But it is worth a try I guess. But if I get a new pair of carders (I've been thinking of doing that anyway..) with more teeth per square centimeter it should be easier? I'm meeting with some other spinning folks next weekend so maybe I'll see if someone there has a pair.

Agent almost: The batts aren't carded enough so there's still locks that are half carded or completely uncarded in them and that makes it hard for me to spin the yarn I want.

jacquiw: I think the combing will become easier if I lose a bit of the lanolin. Maybe I'll just try to soak it a few times, without agitating in any way. The only wool I've got to blend it with are Gotland and some brown unknown and washed wool. But I guess it's worth a try, I think the brown would turn out great when I'm dyeing it later..

Thanks for the answers and the ideas! I've got a few things to try now, and hopefully I'll be able to turn this wool into something in the end Smiley Oh, that reminds me, does anyone know what properties the yarn will have when knit up? I've been thinking of knitting a sweater from it, but if the wool already is pilling, how will the yarn be then? The Gotland is coarser and with a much longer staple length, would it be better if I blended it with that?

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