Cleaning the Drums on Your Drum Carder

WP_20140111_20_57_00_ProA common question we get is how to clean the drums on your drum carder.  Each drum has a different purpose so each drum should be maintained differently.

The small, licker-in drum has two main purposes:

  1. To literally “lick in” the fiber, feeding it between the two drums so that it gets carded.
  2. To hold back the nibs and short end fibers.

This small drum does not need to be cleaned.  You heard me right; you do not and actually, should not clean this drum.  As the nibs and short ends pack into the teeth of this drum, it becomes matted down, almost like felt.  This matt attracts the fiber just like felt onto a felt board.  If the fiber is long enough, it will get grabbed by the teeth on the swift (big drum).  If not, the fiber sticks to the matt on the licker-in drum.  Eventually you will want to clean off this small drum after the matt has built up so that very little of the teeth are showing.  Use the pick strip and your doffing tool to get it off.  It should come off very easily.


The big, swift drum is used to store your fiber as it gets carded.  This drum needs to be cleaned off after each use.  There are two methods for cleaning off this drum:

1. After you have taken your finished batt off the drum, use the doffing brush to brush out any residual fiber.



If you are using synthetic fibers or glitz that tend to stick to the teeth, you might want to use our fiber finishing brush.  The bristles are stiffer than on the doffing brush.  Do NOT use a burnishing brush or any brush with very stiff bristles.  This will damage the backing of the card cloth and could bend the teeth.



2. Another method that is very easy is to run some fiber through the machine after you finish your batt, and then strip off the previous fiber.  For instance, let’s say you have just finished with black fiber and are moving on to white fiber.  Run a little white fiber through after you’ve finished with the black.  Pull off this batt.   You will see the residual black fibers on the batt.  Just strip these black fibers off.  Then you can proceed with your white fiber.


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