Another useful tip/tool on wool combing?

Posted By: AussieSpinner

Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 11/03/07 02:00 AM

I'm always on the lookout for new things I can use for processing fleece, and wandered into my local pet store yesterday looking for something like a large metal cow comb that did not have those turning teeth and found, tada:
a long-haired cat detangling brush!
This looks like a much smaller version of the traditional wool comb with steel teeth at a right angle and what appears to be a very tough handle so it can be clamped firmly onto your work surface. Its even a really nice bright pink. The front of the teeth are wavy and have been sharpened, but its only a minutes work to dull the blades so it can be used with fleece, and what a difference it makes!
First off I run the fleece through that, then through a blending comb I have made from several afro combs screwed onto a piece of wood (the original instructions for this were on a blog that has now been wiped), and end up with a lovely roving thats far nicer than I was getting just using a dog comb. The short bits then get fluffed up and go through my drum carder a couple of times and make a lovely fluffy batt.
Its an American brand (I threw the wrapper away, grrr!), so you guys should have no trouble finding one locally.
Cheers, Caroline in Australia
Posted By: Llyn

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 11/04/07 06:27 AM


What a great ideas! Thanks for sharing them.

These combs are available in the grooming supply aisle at pet shops in the States and are billed as "Mat Combs".
Posted By: SheriAnnRicherson

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 02/20/08 08:24 PM

I had wondered about those too but could not seem to make up my mind. I think I will get some. I currently only have dog brushes that I use as combs.

Posted By: Llyn

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 02/21/08 12:52 AM

The dog brushes would work well as cards but not combs. For combing, all your really need is is a pet comb. Just take a lock of wool, comb one end and then flip the lock over and comb the other end. A regular hair comb will work too as long as you keep the locks fairly small. For the best spinning, be sure to keep your combed locks all in the same direction - tip ends to tip ends, butt ends to butt ends. If you plan to use the yarn as a singles, spin from the butt end of the locks. This will reduce the hairiness of the yarn. If you plan to ply the yarn, spin from the tip end so so the yarns are plied from the butt end. This gives a final chance to smooth down any stray hairs.
Posted By: skinnyspinner

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 03/13/08 08:35 PM

Hi all,
I love combed locks to spin, however I find that for plyed yarn I prefer to spin from the butt end first, this is because the fibre is more slippery to draft and I don't smooth the yarn in spinning,(I use roll back technique to ensure even yarns) By smoothing the yarn in plying I am actually using the roughness of the bent scales to join the two singles together, I find that this gives a much more finished look to the yarn, rather than it looking like two singles that are twisted together.

Posted By: Llyn

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 03/13/08 11:58 PM

Spinning combed yarn from the butt end does give the finished yarn a smoother appearance. I like to spin the singles from the butt end then wind them onto storage bobbins so they are also plied from the butt end.

Posted By: skinnyspinner

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 03/17/08 10:21 PM

Hi all,
I have just posted a video clip on youtube of wool combing Shetland wool using mini combs if anyone is interested.
Posted By: OldTownTreadles

Re: Another useful tip/tool on wool combing? - 08/11/08 11:15 PM

Thanks to Sue and others for posting video tips on youtube. I have a program called Miro that allows me to subscribe to spinning videos on youtube, so when I turn on miro, it will show me the ones I haven't seen and organize them into a little "library" for me. I set this up when I first lucked onto a wheel, and it helped give me a general idea of what to do. Of course, at first I have had the lumpiest, bumpiest overtwisted stuff, but now, thanks to experienced people, both online and off, I'm starting to spin respectable singles. Starting. Of course, I will revert, but that's part of learning too.

Just thought posting a special thanks for the video assistance was in order.
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