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Carding

Carding is a mechanical process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres to produce a continuous web of yarn suitable for subsequent processing and spinning.

The aim here is to further blend and align the fibres. This is achieved by passing the cashmere fibres between differentially moving surfaces covered with card cloth (this is similar to sand paper and is serrated so it can break down and blend the fibres). This process disperses clumps of fibre and aligns the individual fibres so that they are parallel with each other. This creates a web, which you’ll see in the image below. It basically looks like candy floss!

The fibres enter the machine

Clumps of fibre enter the machine. You can see how a blend of colours has been used to create what will eventually be a shade of blush pink.

The recipe used has been designed in the Recipe Room, but applied on a much bigger scale for production using the recipe percentages of each colour.

Cashmere or candy floss?

The machine turns this into a thin web of cashmere, which is stretched from one side to the other.

It is checked by a laser (that's what the red light is) for width and quality.

Lacking strength at this time

Once it has been thoroughly checked, the fibre is loosely spun into yarn on these large bolts. This stage is actually referred to as "slubbing" because it isn't officially yarn yet. The fibres are very weak. If you pulled them, it would pull apart like cotton wool.

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Rosie Sugden