Having spent hours hand carding alpaca fibre over the last few weeks I’d been dreaming of owning a drum carder, but it did seem to be something of an extravagance until one of my fellow Knit and Natterers told me about hers. She found it on Etsy and it came from Russia. It was much cheaper than the well known makes and works really well. I looked online and found the seller. Sure enough, full size manual drum carders were available for under £200 plus post and packing and the reviews were excellent, so I took the plunge and ordered one. The only negative stated on the reviews appeared to be delivery time, but I was in no particular hurry. I was delighted when just 16 days later, on Christmas Eve, a large package arrived from Ukraine (not quite Russia). Today I finally unboxed my new drum carder and used it for the first time.
It was certainly well packaged, but after removing plastic, brown paper and two cardboard cartons the drum carder was finally revealed.
It came with a hand card (to clean the drums?) and a doffer (a long spike used to remove the batt of fibre from the drum) – I do love that there is a whole new vocabulary attached to spinning and fibre preparation.
All I needed to do to make the drum carder ready to use was fit the hand crank and the table clamps.
I couldn’t wait to get started so I grabbed some alpaca that I washed the other week, teased it out and gradually fed it in until the large drum was covered.
I used the doffer to remove the fibre and fed it through a second time.
This is the beautiful alpaca batt that resulted. I love my new toy!