Carding Merino batts

Merino fibres are fed into the prickles of the carding rollers, creating a batt of fine merino wool.

I use my home made drum carder to create batts of merino wool to use in wall hangings.

It’s a great way of combining smaller amounts of varied shades of colours into a fibrous mass which can be laid down as it is, or, drafted into shingles of wool.

Here’s how I carded some bright primary colours for Katie and Lucy.

I created several red batts for Lucy’s picture which can be laid down as blocks of colour in one go, rather than separating individual shingles of wool.
You can gently pull drafts off the batt. It makes a very good base on which to lay out extra design layers.
Both individually shingled drafts and batts can be incorporated together. Always ensure that fibres overlap so that they can hook on to each other and fully felt. NB the batt is fluffier than one layer of shingled fibres, so I usually reckon two layers of shingled fibres = one layer of batt.
In this draft layout for wall hanging, I have combined the use of both batts and individual shingles. In the top right hand corner I’ve used green batt as the base layer before adding decorative layer of shingles and silks and pencil yarn. Likewise, I’ve used purple batt as a base layer in bottom right corner, with added layers of embellishments.
Motley selection of blue merino lengths selected for carding.
As the fibres rotate around the hedgehog prickles of the drum carder, they separate and realign into a batt.
This lovely fluffy batt is gently pulled away in one piece from the prickles of the carding drum.
The batt is a textured and vibrant mix of blues.
The batts are gently rolled up ready for storing until needed.

You can detect a sheen from the silk fibres within the merino wool.

A reminder of what I mean by SHINGLING individual drafts of fibre.
Purple mixed batts can be used for stormy skies as well as abstract designs.

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