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Remember that we have always said that our drum carders will card any fiber.
We know it is generally accepted that fine very short fibers (an inch or less) such as cashmere, qiviut (musk ox) and cotton cannot be carded with a drum carder. This is true with other machines because pins are used on both drums. Only the Strauch drum carder comes with the unique Slicker-Licker cloth on the infeed drum. These are smooth blades NOT pins! This allows for any fiber to be able to be processed. But....the techniques for handling each fiber is different.
For short fine fibers, turn the drum very slowly to allow the fiber to be picked up by the infeed drum and released onto the large drum. If you crank too fast, the fibers stick to the small drum.
The problem with fiber under, say one inch, is that you can't get it off the drum because the fibers have not "locked" together. This is especially the case with cashmere, qiviut and cotton. Cotton is notorious since the fibers are so short. It's like carding dust!
But it can be done. Here are two techniques we tried with our very short cashmere and it also worked with cotton:
We really loaded lots of the fiber onto the large drum so that it had no choice but to come off in a batt. We then put it through again, really loading the large drum. This worked well and the end result was a very fluffy batt which you could easily spin. I break off hand sized sections and spin those.
Another suggestion: One way to card fiber shorter than one inch is to put a little of a longer fiber on the carder first. Not too much, but enough to very lightly cover the large drum. This forms a "net" for the shorter fiber and helps to pull it off the drum. As an example, we tried this with very short cashmere we had de-haired by hand. We put a light layer of very fine Merino on first then carded the cashmere then another light layer of Merino. The cashmere was sandwiched between the layers of Merino and came off the drum easily. We still had 95% cashmere. This little bit of Merino also added some elasticity to the spun fiber.
You can blend with very short fibers: As an example, we raise cashmere goats which are combed each spring and the fiber sent out for dehairing. What I get back are beautiful carded clouds.
However, in the dyeing process, it became very slightly matted and we were able to use the Strauch drum carder with success and have spun the fiber into beautiful yarn.