Thanks to Jean & Val we had the chance to try out a spinning wheel or 2 or 3, we also had the chance to try hand carding and machine carding. For those of us new to the subject, carding is a way of bringing the wool fibres into line, creating rolls of wool that can then be spun.
this is called a staple, the length of the hair basically. Good to know that Romney Marsh wool has a long staple and so is very easy to processThis is Val demonstrating hand carding
This is machine carding and speeds up the process
We were really impressed with how much equipment Val and Jean brought along to our session. It was a great treat, we tend to be quite low tech in our classes. I have to say we did spend some time thinking about our ancestors and the development of these tools and techniques. What an amazing industry and certainly we decided cottage industry probably mainly women and children producing spun wool.
We all had the opportunity to have a go and some of us were very adept , especially the spinning . The combination of pedalling with one foot and feeding the wool into the wheel with both hands is quite a skill and one to be practised. Like riding a bike , in time it could be a very relaxing and useful technique. We were all enthused enough to think about how and where we could keep a spinning wheel. Jean and Val’s are a very portable size, food for thought…..We have invited them back next week to have another go…the story continues…