What's the Difference Between Fiber Preparation Equipment?

Find out the difference between all the different Fiber Preparation Equipment pieces. 

Picker: A Picker is used to separate the locks of wool before it is carded or spun. The picker opens up the locks which makes it easier to send the fleece through the carder. It does this by teasing the fibers (which can also be done by hand just by pulling the lock structure apart), but a picker does this in bulk and quicker than what can be done by hand. It is possible to spin fibers directly after the picking stage; however, it is usually more desirable to card and blend them with other fibers first.

Blending Boards: Using a Blending Board is like painting a picture with your fiber. The end result is a set of unique, rolags which make spinning novelty fibers very simple. They are a great way to take carding fiber “on the road” because of the size and portability of the boards.

Hand Carders: Hand Carders are used to process fiber in order to get them ready to spin. Many different fibers can be used on hand carders, from dog hair, to llama, to to wool. The hand carders prepare the fiber and align them for spinning, felting, or weaving.  

Drum Carder: Drum Carders are the larger version of hand carders. These usually consisted of two drums (sometimes three); one larger than the other, and a handle to rotate them. The fiber is wound through the two drums and onto the larger drum which then turns it into a batt. The batt is then taken off the drum and can be used for spinning, felting, etc.

Combs: Combs are a different way of processing fiber that makes the fibers aligned in a parallel manner.  The type of comb you need depends on the type of fiber you want to comb, which can be anything from alpaca, to cashmere, to wool of all types.

Find out how to use your combs in this short video by Susan: