Let me begin by saying that having friends in the fibre business can be really bad for your wallet. In the particular case of this blog post, I speak of persuasive friends who enable you into buying new (very expensive) gadgets.
Meet the Strauch Mad Batt'r Double Wide carder.
If you can't tell by the image, this thing is a behemoth. A little intimidating too, if you're not used to this type of machine and its teeth. No, scratch that: it's intimidating even if you're used to drum carders. This piece of equipment is imposing and I don't think you can confuse it with a hobby toy.
My former carder was nice, don't get me wrong, but too small for production carding. The advert when I bought it said I could card up to 100g of wool in one go, but never happened.The most fibre I ever managed to pack into one batt was 80g, and I was already really pushing it.
I'm a business, so I needed a bit more flexibility when it came to the amount of fibre I could process in one go.
Before I go on, let me state: I'm not being paid to write any of this in any way, and this isn't a product review post. I'll have one up soon, which also won't be sponsored and will feature my honest opinion on the Strauch Mad Batt'r.
If you've never used a drum carder, this is what they do: they sort of comb and align the fibres together to create one fluffy mass, called a batt. You can create batts with just wool, or add all sorts of things to it to make it textured and fun; the latter is usually called an art batt because it's got all sorts of different things in it to allow one to create some funky yarns.
I recently washed a new fleece and needed to convert it into batts for sale. The photos below show the process.
(If you'd like to know how I wash my fleeces, go here.)
I've shown you how I process regular, smooth batts, now let me share a textured batt. This is where the fun is for me.
I start by deciding what my colour palette will be, and what fibres I'll be using, then weigh out all the components. This way I'll know how heavy my batt is going to be, for the most part. I'm known to change my mind mid-process about what I'm using, so sometimes I can end up with either a slightly larger or smaller batt.
I made a very short video of this batt to try to show off the sparkle. Because, shiny!
You saw how I didn't use all of the carding cloth's surface, because Old Carder Habit. This batt still came out at almost 100g!
Now for the sexy glamour shot...
If you're interested in this batt, here's the link for it: Art Batt for Spinning by Felt Buddies.
Do you use a drum carder, or thought about it? Tell me all about it in the comments section. Thanks for reading!
Bonus photo: here's Marshmallow acting all Gangsta, because why not?...