Carding - The Process - Cottage Carders

Cottage Carders

Cottage carding machines differ significantly from the simple drum card. These carders do not store fibre in the card cloth as the drum carder does but, rather, fibre passes through the workings of the carder for storage or for additional processing by other machines.

A typical cottage carder has a single large drum (the swift) accompanied by a pair of in-feed rollers (nippers), one or more pairs of worker and stripper rollers, a fancy, and a doffer. In-feed to the carder is usually accomplished by hand or by conveyor belt and often the output of the cottage carder is stored as a batt or further processed into roving and wound into bumps with an accessory bump winder. The cottage carder in the image below supports both outputs.

Raw fibre, placed on the in-feed table or conveyor is moved to the nippers which restrain and meter the fibre onto the swift. As they are transferred to the swift, many of the fibres are straightened and laid into the swift's card cloth. These fibres will be carried past the worker / stripper rollers to the fancy.

As the swift carries the fibres forward, from the nippers, those fibres that are not yet straightened are picked up by a worker and carried over the top to its paired stripper. Relative to the surface speed of the swift, the worker turns quite slowly. This has the effect of reversing the fibre. The stripper, which turns at a higher speed than the worker, pulls fibres from the worker and passes them to the swift. The stripper's relative surface speed is slower than the swift's so the swift pulls the fibres from the stripper for additional straightening.

Straightened fibres are carried by the swift to the fancy. The fancy's card cloth is designed to engage with the swift's card cloth so that the fibres are lifted to the tips of the swift's card cloth and carried by the swift to the doffer. The fancy and the swift are the only rollers in the carding process that actually touch.

The slowly turning doffer removes the fibres from the swift and carries them to the fly comb where they are stripped from the doffer. A fine web of more or less parallel fibre, a few fibres thick and as wide as the carder's rollers, exits the carder at the fly comb by gravity or other mechanical means for storage or further processing.

Cottage Carder
Using a Cottage Carder to Card White Alpaca. See schematic at right.
Diagram showing name, location, and rotation of rollers used on a cottage carder
Historical Carding Machines
A restored carding machine at Quarry Bank Mill in the UK
A wool carder from 1913 at the Mueller Tuchfabrik,Euskirchen
19th c. ox-powered double carding machine

Read more about this topic:  Carding, The Process

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