Blending Fibers for Spinning & Felting- A Quick Study in Hand Carding

If you’ve dabbled in any fiber crafts before then you’ve probably found yourself wondering about blending fibers for spinning & felting. So let’s talk about it! Today we’ll go over the various reasons for blending fibers, how to hand card wool into roving, and even how to blend fiber without hand cards.

Reasons for blending fibers:

There are a couple of reasons that you might be inspired to try your hand at blending fibers for spinning & felting. One reason is that you can create custom colors. This can be easier than dyeing custom colors because you don’t need nearly as many supplies – you really only need something to card the fibers with.

You can combine multiple colors together to create a multicolor fiber or you can blend the colors further together to create a new color that is nearly solid. This color mixing works much like mixing paint. So, for instance, you could mix a yellow and a red fiber together to create a shade of orange.

Another reason for blending fiber is to mix different types of fiber together. You may add a strong fiber like tencel to another fiber if you are looking to make a project that would benefit from added structure. You may add a budget conscious fiber to a luxury fiber to make it go further.

How to hand card wool into roving:

The basics of hand carding involve putting a small amount of fiber onto one card and taking the other hand card and running it over the fiber to transfer the fiber from one card to the other. Keep doing that and soon your fibers will be blended. It can take you a minute to get a feel for it and develop a good rhythm, but once you do it can be a really satisfying experience! Here’s a short demonstration video for you to enjoy:

There are a couple of different ways to turn your newly carded wool into roving. You can use dowels or chopsticks to make rolags, you can use a diz, or you can pull the fiber through your gripped hand if you don’t have a diz (you can see a demonstration of this last method at the end of the video we have linked above)

How to blend fiber without hand cards:

If you don’t have any hand cards just laying around and you’d like to give blending a try before you invest in some, then here’s a neat trick for you. It may sound strange but you can actually use wire dog brushes! Just make sure to get the kind that don’t have the little rubber ends on the tips. They actually have some at the Dollar Tree that work perfectly for this, if you happen to have a store near you.

Now it’s your turn!

Are you ready to give blending fibers for spinning & felting a go? We would love to see your first attempts! You can share them with us on social media or in our Facebook Community Group.

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You can view more articles on spinning and felting in their respective categories!

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