Of the ways to prepare fleece once it’s been washed, I’m going to focus on hand carding. This is a lot of work and takes a lot of physical effort. If you can afford a drum carder, that is a good way to go. But I could barely afford hand carders and I had trouble finding instructions for exactly how to get the results I wanted. I used Howard 6″ 72 tpi
First, “charge”one of your carders by covering it with fleece.
Then place the other carder over this one and gently brush. If you press too hard, the teeth will mesh and it won’t work. Continue to brush the fleece until it’s evenly distributed. Then, the step that alluded me for too long, you will transfer it back onto one card. Put the front end of one card at the handle end of the other, then move the first card up the second.
This will pull the fleece onto one card:
I repeat this process a few times before the fleece is the consistency I want. At this point, roll the fleece in towards to handle to create a rolag.
Now you have your first rolag! Continue doing this until you’ve carded all the fleece you desire. You’ll soon see why drum carders can be useful! However, rolags are a lot easier to draft and pre-draft than batts.
From here, I like to pre-draft my fiber very, very thin. This makes drafting during spinning much easier. It also allows me to pick chunks out that won’t spin well and that didn’t come out in any of the earlier prepping. I don’t do this until right before I spin the rolag.
Now you can get ready to spin some yarn! However, I’ll be discussing that using different, pre-prepared fleece.