Drum Carding 101: How To Re-Card a Batt for Better Blending

Have you ever carded a batt and wished that the colors were blended just a little bit more to create a more subtle look? Although Strauch carders are designed to perfectly prepare your fibers for handspinning the first time through (no need to card multiple times!), there are times when you’ll want to re-process a batt for purely aesthetic reasons. In this post, we’ll show you how to re-card any batt with ease, and show you how the same batt looks the first, second and third time through a Strauch drum carder. 

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How Do You Know When to Re-Card a Batt?

Some batts will blend better than others, and ultimately this comes down to a matter of preference. Make sure that you have chosen colors that will not become muddy the more they blend together – click here for more tips on successfully choosing colors for your batt project. 

The style of batt you are making will also affect whether or not it’s a good option for re-carding; a striped batt is more challenging to re-card, while layered and heathered batts are well suited for this technique. We’ll be using two of the batts created in our previous blog post to demonstrate this technique.

better color blending starts with carding batts multiple times on a strauch drum carder

How to Prepare Your Batt for Carding

You will need to do some prep work before sending your batt through the carder again. Start by dividing your batt into smaller strips like so:

Drafting a batt to re-process in the drum carder

Draft out each strip so that you won’t be sending too much fiber through the drum carder during your second pass; make sure to spread the width of the strip out to cover the full width of your drum as well.

If you are working with a striped batt, you will first need to carefully divide each color in your batt as shown above, but then you will need to work with shorter stripes of each color and only draft lengthwise (as shown below) so that you can send all of your colors through the carder at the same time.

drafting strips to re-card a striped batt

Time to Card!

Just as when you card your batt the first time, the name of the game is to turn the drum slowly as you feed each section of fiber back through your carder. If you are making a striped batt, make sure to feed your fiber through in the same order as before so that you can preserve the color placement. 

Here’s the layered batt prior to re-carding….

layered batt prior to re-carding

After processing through the drum carder a second time….

fiber batt carded twice on a strauch drum carder

And a third time!

fiber batt carded three times on a strauch drum carder

Wondering what happens when you card a striped batt a second time? This creates a subtle, slightly more blended or “faded” effect, rather than having well-defined stripes in your batt:

striped batt comparison

We’d love to see what you’re carding and spinning over on Instagram – be sure to share your photos using the #strauchfiber hashtag!

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Drum Carding 101: How To Re-Card a Batt for Better Blending

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