I want to know the best way to ship carded wool batts so that the fibres stay lofty and easy to draft. So I did some experiments.
A batt is the result of preparing the fibre on a drum carder. It can be a giant drum carder like they have in a fibre mill, or a tiny one like mine. Not that I mind tiny. To me, it's just the right amount for what I'm doing now and I'm hoping my carding adventures will earn my way towards a bigger, better, bolder machine.
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You can do many things with a drum carder. You can use it to organize wool from the chaotic mass it is when it comes off the sheep and we can use it to blend prepared fibres together to combine colours and textures. That's what I'm doing today. I dyed some merino, silk, and angora (bunny) fibre to be the same coloureway and am loosely blending them together to create novelty batts that will create subtly textured yarn.
When finished, I twisted one batt (of lightly carded hand dyed lambswool) and the other I rolled as tight as I could.
From there, I put them in envelopes and spent a few days abusing them to simulate the experience of travelling through the post.
The bat on the left was the rolled one, the middle, twisted, and on the far right was an unmutilated batt.
Both rolled and twisted lost some loft but were easy to draft. The rolled batt kept the most loft but that could also be due to the difference in fibre. The twisted one was a bit disappointing as the ends were slightly matted. The rolled one was considerably harder to find the end and unwind.
I'm feeling that both twisted and rolled are viable options for shipping batts in a bubble mailer. But it would be better if I could send them in a box.
A bit more trial and error needed. If you have any suggestions, I would love it if you could comment below.
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