Fiber blending techniques: blending board, comb and hackle

Fiber blending techniques: blending board, comb and hackle


Let’s now look at a tool that lets you literally
paint with fibres. The Blending Board It’s a palette with a mat of curved needles on it. Just like the carder ones with the brushes. There is a handle on one of the two sides to keep the table firm whilst working. To insert the fibres we’re going to use a
brush, like the ones for the animals, to help us. or with a flat sturdy brush. let’s put the first tufts of fibre in,
taking care not to scratch our hands, it happens a lot at the beginning unfortunately! the end product that’s pulled out from the palette
is in fact a lower quantity of fibres than with the carder but is arranged in a way that’s easier to control and work with. After inserting a section of the fibre, brush lengthways so it goes down to the base of the needles, so you have space
to fill up the palette with quite a thick layer of fibre. Remember that the thinner the layer of each fibre or colour that’s inserted the more they’ll blend together,
and vicecersa. Remember to let the fibres come out
from the bottom of our mat by some centimetres. This will be really useful when pulling them out. You need two sticks like these ones
to pull the fibre out from the palette. Place them above and below the fibres that
we let out of the lower side of the table. keeping tight hold of them, pull them
up gradually. Then start rolling the fibres up going
towards the top side of the table, whilst being really careful not to make the cylinder too tight as that would make it difficult to spin. Once all the fibre is out
take out the sticks And it’s ready to be spun. COMBS Blending combs have long needles,
as we can see which have different thickness and spacing depending on the fineness of the fibre we want to blend. Just like the mats on carders and carding brushes. These tools are useful for blending a small quantity of fibre, testing, or especially for separating long fibres from the undercoat. for instance, it’s interesting if you consider that unlike carding, combing straightens and guides the fibres much more and this preparation is more useful to create a stronger and long-lasting yarn like all those combed, also called “worsted”. in this video we’re going to see a
fun way of combing, which also shows us about the power of colour combinations. Put the fibres on one of the combs so that it stays about a cm on the opposite side of the handle and the rest straightened on the other side. We’ve chosen to use a layer of yellow
and a blue one, one on top of the other. Now hold the full comb facing up
and pass the empty comb between the fibres slantwise Getting deeper and closer to the full needles each time you comb. We can see that the fibres that have passed onto the second comb
are blending. Now we can decide whether or not to carry on
blending the colours, replacing the full comb with the one we have just emptied. At this stage it can be interesting to
add a contrasting fibre, perhaps to give a shiny effect with silk or Angelina. For our project we’ll go ahead with
a few more passes And we can see that having started with yellow and blue overlapping, we’ve got a nice
dark green. Take the fibres out of the comb or spin them
directly, holding it between your knees to see if we’re happy with the outcome. HACKLE Hackle works similar to the comb both in the separating of the fluff and the under fur from long fibres and for the blending of colours in sequence. So let’s start preparing a good selection
of different fibres and colours to have on hand. Then put the first tufts in at one end
from the tip of the needles downwards and go along the entire length of the rack. Like in carding, keep in mind that if we want to blend the fibres, to get a uniform and soft colour it’s better to insert small
quantities at a time so there aren’t as many stages. After completing the first row go on to then fill in the following layers without overloading our tool. to take the blend out we’re going to use a small
perforated disc, the diz, that we’re going to insert it into a tuft of fibre, turning it round a couple of times to attach it then we’re going to gently pull it towards us letting it slide along the rack
at the same time back and forth until we’ve used up all the fibres. When we’ve got a little bit of experience we will know how to get a continuous ribbon of blended fibre thanks to diz. Bearing in mind that they’ll probably be some residue left
between the needles, especially if we use short fibres. Observing our blend we have produced we can understand straight away the sequence we position the fibres on the hackle determines the way they are arranged on the so-called roving.

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