Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fiber ~ tumbling

You can send your alpaca fiber to a mill where they will do all these things for you. But since I've been doing this all myself, J made me my own tumbler. He took a dryer that someone was selling super cheap because the heat didn't always work. Well, we won't ever hook this up to heat (heat would felt the alpaca fiber).

My tumbler in my fiber room:



The tumbler not only tumbles the fiber, but there are long nails on magnets that pull apart and help separate the alpaca fiber, making more dirt and debris fall out. There are three lines of these nail prongs:



Up closer:



The point of the tumbler is to clean out the fiber. Since we have sandy soil, it's especially important that we take this extra step.

After tumbling, the next step is flicking (some people do carding instead, which is very similar but I have found flicking easier for me to do). I'll post about this in tomorrows blog entry.

5 comments:

Mona said...

Hi Cara,

Love your dryer transformation! Just wondering about the nails. They really are held on by just magnets? That is so blessedly simple! And how long do you tumble the fiber?
Thanks!
~ Mona

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Great idea and great recycling use for the discarded dryer.
N

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

Mona ~ my husband actually put it together: he says he used epoxy to attach/glue nails (a 16 penny framing nail) to rare earth magnets (he found the magnets on line). The magnets stick great to the dryer sides. Sometimes they slide a bit and I slide them back into a line :)

one warning, the magnets were actually more costly then the dryer LOL when someone wants to get rid of a dryer that doesn't work well they give them away cheap. Total cost for us was about $50 ~ a fiber tumbler for that is unreal!

I tumble the fiber for about 20 minutes.

Cara

Oak Haven Alpacas said...

Norma ~ I hadn't thought of the recycling aspect of it, but it sure is! We saved a dryer from the landfill, and will use it for years to come.

Mona said...

Thanks Cara! We are now hunting for a free dryer. ~ Mona

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