Louet Roving Drumcarder for alpaca handspinners
You may have seen hand carders used by colonial women or Native American Women, but the drum carder makes fiber carding much easier and quicker! Whether hand carded, or drum carded, this process produces "woolen" type yarns ie: it opens up and mixes the alpaca fibers so that they will be lofty and springy when spun. This, as opposed to the process which produces a "worsted" type yarn. Worsted alpaca yarn is discussed on the Combs page of this site.
When drum carding, feed the alpaca fiber in slowly, and resist the urge to put a huge handful into the licker in (small drum) all at once. When you have produced a nice fat batt of carded alpaca, use the doffer that came with your carder (hint: it looks like an icepick) to pull up a small section of fiber, and then strip off the alpaca from the teeth of the drum carder by holding the free section in your left hand and turning the large drum backwards so the fiber is stripped off. I usually put the same batt back in so that it can go through the drum carder at least twice.
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