Tuesday, 15 October 2013

New Drum Carder

At least once a year I've contemplated buying myself a drum carder. But after seeing the wool blends Ann from the Felting and Fiber Studio carded a few weeks ago, I seriously considered it, and after looking at a link Judith gave me to ebay, I bought myself a gorgeous handmade Ash drum carder from the Classic Carder company. I wasn't very good on my first few tries, but I soon got the hang of it :)

I thought I should have an 'aim' instead of just going mad and making lots of nice coloured batts, so I decided to  work out roughly how much wool I'd need for one layer if I'm making a piece of felt big enough to make a cover for an A6 notebook. I got my template out, chose a coppery bronze colour theme and then laid out the different coloured wools in different proportions.

I then gathered all the colours up, weighed them and kept notes. I'd usually think to do this after the fifth time of laying out colours, so I'm impressed with myself :)

I added some small amounts of flax and soy top to a couple of the lighter colours, and it's not obvious from the photo, but I added black bamboo to the natural brown merino.

I was impressed with how it looked after just one turn through the carder, but I wanted it more subtle than it had turned out, so I put the wool through again. I really like how it turned out the second time.

I've been thinking for a long time about making up 'experimental' or 'inspiration' fibre packs to sell on etsy. Working out what to put in there to make it worthwhile with our postage prices was difficult, but Marilyn recently suggested selling wool aswell to make it more of a kit. I had a think about how to do it and came up with the idea of including just enough wool to do one layer, a nice blend for the top. I thought this batt would be perfect for the first one as it's the same colours I used for my coppery bronze piece that so many people liked. It gave me an excuse to get out my favourite shades of organza too.

I measured and weighed the organza, picked out some matching cotton gauze, novelty art yarns and silk throwster's waste like I used on my coppery piece, and also made another little batt to make sure there was enough. But now after lots of weighing and measuring, the pack is finished. I did more maths than anyone should do in a year working out roughly how much organza, gauze, yarn and silk is used on a heavily embellished felt piece :)  I just finished writing the description and added it to my etsy shop.

  Let me know what you think of it, is it a good selection of fabrics and fibers?


  1. Hi Zed :) Congrats on your carder! I have a Jumbo Classic Carder and LOVE it :) Hope you get on well with yours too.

    I think the kit you have put together looks great! What a lovely lot of embellishments you have in there and at an excellent price too! It should do well I think.


    1. Thanks a lot :)
      I've been doing a white texturey batt today with lots of different breeds and embellishment fibres. I never realised how much dirt there is hiding in wool!

  2. OOh a carder - what fun!
    Great idea for a specific project pack - especially with so many embellishement ideas and individually hand carded batt. Hope you have lots of orders..
    Ali x

    1. Thanks, Ali :)
      It'd be good if etsy had an easy option for customising or 'supersizing' these packs, ie just batts or batts and fibres, or batts, fibres and embellishments like beads.
      It was fun to do, but no interest yet :)

  3. mmmm.... I think they look gorgeous