Although one could go to the shop and buy already carded wool, I prefer to take care of this operation. First off, because then I can choose which tones and textures to use. Each sheep gives slightly different wool. I prefer half-coarse wool for needle-felting.
Carding itself is a time-consuming intricate art, especially if done for needle-felting. If I card wool for the purpose of filling rag dolls, it’ll be no biggie if a few tangles and clumps slip in. Provided, of course, that these are not as thick as thumbs. However, carded wool meant for needle-felting must be very uniform and free of clumps; otherwise, it would be difficult to get a smooth surface…
At achieve a very good result, one must consider the attributes of one’s cottage drum carder. Industrial carders are wide, high-efficiency machines, which can easily handle any type of wool. Such carders may even have more than ten drums for aligning the fibres.
Cottage carder can have two drums. If the wool is fed too quickly, the carder will block and/or the wool has clumps in it. In the case of the latter, one can try re-carding, which is often of much help, so the clumps are picked out by hand.
In order to provide a better picture of the use of cottage carders, I added a short video under the Workshops section. Cottage drum carders are meant for carding fine wool. The wool of Estonian sheep is either semi-fine or coarse.
Drum carders for non-industrial users are meant for carding fine wool. The wool of Estonian sheep, however, is either semi-fine or coarse and its quality is uneven. Consequently, the carding of such wool is somewhat trickier and more time-consuming in order to receive optimum results. I added a short video in the Workshops section, in which I show how to card the wool produced by Estonian sheep.