Summer, 1998

Handspinning Tips for July, 1998

Using handcards for a "burnishing tool" on the drum carder. Deborah Menz' new book Color in Spinning and the brochure for Pat Green's carders in British Columbia mention a mysterious "burnishing tool" that is held over the drum carder. Careful reading leads me to believe that this is basically a handcard, held in the right hand by the handle while the left hand turns the drum carder normally. The hand card teeth comb the top of the drum carder, going in the same direction as the usual turning so the teeth do NOT catch but slide smoothly by. Hand cards are about the same width as standard tabletop drum carders, so the burnishing can be done quickly, a circuit or so two or three times while making the batt.

The effect of burnishing is to compress the batt so 1) more wool can be put onto the drum carder and thicker batts made, and 2) to comb the top very smoothly. (Mention is made of this tool polishing or "burnishing" the points of the drum carder at the same time, beneficially.) I compacted 19 batts into 16 with a project of 1 3/4 lbs of wool/silk mix. The batts compressed this way are also firmer, so thin Z-stripping to make thin roving for spinning can be done with less wisping away separation of the roving by accident.