Creativity · Spinning · Yarn

The Brave Little Drum Carder

Meet my new drum carder, guys!


I got a great deal on this baby. (Thank you, Craigslist.) Picked it up from a local guy cleaning out his grandmother’s storage unit. He admitted that he wasn’t even entirely sure what it was or what it was meant to do.

I’m tell you want it does, my friend: It eats raw wool for breakfast. (Cue nom nom noises.)


It may look like a torture device or a pasta maker gone wrong, but it actually processes wool. You feed your wool locks into the little shoot and start cranking the handle, which turns the drums in opposite directions, and magical woolly things happen.


See the little comb-like teeth? Those actually comb the wool fibers in the same direction. Very similar to what hand carders do but a bit faster and less effort.

I played around with some of my Merino/Cormo fleece this morning so that I could take a few demo shots.

So, you feed the raw wool and crank, crank, crank…


Once you’ve loaded the drum with enough fiber, you use a doffer (I used a knitting needle for now) and take the lovely combed pillow of wool off the big drum, which is called a batt.


Voila! From this batt I can now spin yarn or use it in a felting project.


You can probably tell that I didn’t pick through this wool very closely, so they’re are some second cuts and vegetable matter bits still in it. I’ll most likely do a wet felting project with these batts. If I were going to spin yarn, I would be a bit more persnickity. I would also probably run the batt through at least another time.


My new drum carder has seen some action in the past, so she ain’t perfect. I forsee probably replacing the carding cloth (the teeth) in the future, but for now she definitely gets the job done. šŸ™‚

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