Hand Carders & Drum Carders Explained

The Good Yarn Hand Carders & Drum Carders Explained Flick Carders Blending Board

What is the difference between a hand carder and a drum carder?

Types of Hand Carders and Drum Carders

What is carding?

No matter if you choose a hand carder or drum carder, the purpose of carding is the same. Carding is the name used for the process of straightening out and opening up fibre in preparation for spinning into yarn

Some people prefer to do this by hand. However, you can also use hand carders, drum carders, flick carders or a blending board to make the process easier.

The one thing all of these tools have in common, is that they have rows of metal teeth that aid in aligning the fibre for spinning into yarn.

What do the Carders Point Numbers mean?

The Good Yarn Hand Carder Drum Crader Explained number points

The higher the point number of a carder, the more appropriate they are for using with finer and luxury fibres. Below I will explain the different carders we sell and their best method of use.

Types of Hand Carders & Drum Carders

Flick Carder

The Good Yarn Ashford Carding Flick Carder 2

Flick carders are a very popular and inexpensive way to prepare fibres for spinning. They are largely used for preparing individual staples of wool for worsted spinning. Flick Carders are also commonly used for teasing out the fibres prior to drum carding.


The flick carder helps you to remove the short fibres and can be used with washed and unwashed fibre.

Hand Carders

Hand carders allow you to prepare several staples of fleece at once. Carders are also often used for blending multiple colours of wool. They create small rolags for spinning and both washed and greasy wool can be used. The Good Yarn offers the following hand carder sizes: Small, Fine, Cotton, Student and Classic.

Blending Board

Blending Boards are regularly described as having the ability to ‘paint’ a picture with fibres. They make blending and carding your fibres easy and gives you the added bonus of being able to repeat the colour order and process. The blending board is of course, also very portable. It allows you to be able to works at a table, on your lap. You can even take it away with you. Making it perfect for your spinner’s guild meetings of even a trip away.

The Blending Board also makes it easy to use up leftover and small pieces of fibre. Our Ashford Blending Board is a generous 30cm x 30cm and comes with its own blending brush and dowel rods for drafting and removing the rolags.

The Good Yarn Ashford Spinning wheels for sale Carding Blending Board

Drum Carders

The Good Yarn Ashford Drum Carder with doffer and pink wool

A drum carder is the perfect choice when you are wanting to prepare large amounts of fibre. They give you the ability to quickly and easily create amazing colour blends or large batts for felting. The Drum Carder gives you the versatility to use or create multi-coloured slivers or even add luxurious fibres such as silk, mohair, linen and more. However, it is recommended that you use washed wool and fibres in your drum carder that are free of vegetation and dirt.

Drum Carders also make it easy to produce rolags with graduation colour. A technique that is explained in the Ashford Book of Carding. A wonderful option on the Ashford Drum Carders is that the distance between the two drums is adjustable, giving you the ability to use a larger range of fibres. We offer the popular Standard Drum Carder, Wide Drum Carder, and the Wild Drum Carder.

Standard Drum Carder

This popular drum carder produces a 20cm wide batt. Its is available in 72 point for finer to coarse fibres and also in a 120 point for very fine fibres. It comes with its own packer brush, cleaning brush, doffer, and clamps

Wide Drum Carder

The wide drum carder is the perfect choice for producing large batts for felting. Or, for preparing bigger quantities of fine to coarse fibres. It produces a 30cm wide batt and is available in a 72point. It also comes with its own packer brush, cleaning brush, doffer, and clamps

The Good Yarn Ashford Carding Drum Carder Wide

Wild Drum Carder

This fun Wild Drum Carder is purposely designed to help you create fashionable and fun batts for spinning art yarns. The Wild Carder makes a 10cm wide batt. It is a 72 point carder, meaning it lets you add additional things such as ribbons, feathers, fabrics etc to create a wonderful and exciting batt. The Wild Carder is also portable and comes with its own packer brush, cleaning brush, doffer, and clamps.

The Good Yarn Ashford Carding Wild Drum Carder

E-Carder

This is the ultimate in carding machines. It is based on Ashford’s immensely popular 30cm wide drum. The E-carder has two powerful motors which allows your fibres to be carded effortlessly and swiftly. Then, the magnetic switch on the cover, ensures safe operation, as the motors can only run when the cover is closed. The speed of the two individual motors can also be regulated independently, therefore permitting perfect control and you card different types of fibres.

The Good Yarn ecarder Ashford electric carding machine for wool

What do these terms mean?

Batt

A Batt refers to fibre that has been prepared by a drum carder and is in a rectangle shape

Carding

The opening up of fibre in preparation for spinning yarn

Carding Cloth

Carding cloth refers to the base material, usually leather or rubber, to which the metal teeth are attached. This is then attached to the hand carder or drum carder

Doffer

A long metal tool with a point. A doffer tool is used to separate fibres and allow for their removal from a drum carder

Rolag

A carded roll of fibre that is ready for spinning. You can easily make rolags with hand carders

Sliver

A continuous length of carded fibre

Worsted Yarn

Worsted yarn is popular, smooth yarn that has been spun from long staples of combed fibre