I am often asked how we made our own fiber tumbler, so I will repost this blog entry from two years ago.
I have found this fiber tumbler works great. The only negative comments I have ever gotten was from someone who markets a fiber contraption that they insist works better. Not only am I skeptical, but there is a huge price different between making this and buying a contraption. In the end we all do what we feel is best for our farm, and for my fiber processing, this works great! I still love it 2 years later.
Here is it from August of 2010:
My wonderful husband is always looking for ways to assist in making
fiber production easier. Currently we do everything at our home, which
makes it truly hand produced. But, it is time consuming. While I love
spinning yarn and knitting up items, I'm not as fond of the flicking of
fiber and skirting of fiber. J read about a way to make a fiber tumbler
from a dryer. You only need the dryer to spin, no heat (heat will make
the fiber felt). He found a dryer on Craig's list that was very cheap,
because it only heated half of the time. Since we won't hook up the
heat, it's perfect for us. Even more neat, it's a fairly new dryer (I
was expecting an ancient dinosaur of a thing), so it's light (easy to
transport home), and looks nice too. Not that it matters, it's in my
We plugged the electric in so the dryer will run (tumble). We did not
vent it outside since it is not hooked up to heat (which for us would be
propane), and because it is in a not quite finished part of our
basement. You could vent it outside and then the extra dirt and debris
would go outside. But if you do that, but sure to clean out your vent
frequently. We just let it vent into the room and I sweep it up
frequently (that way there is less chance of a clogged vent). Some of
the debris goes into the lint trap, so I make sure to clean that out
after every tumbling load.
make it into a fiber tumbler, Rare Earth Magnets are glued to the end
of nails (he used epoxy to attach the nails to the magnets). Nails and epoxy can be found at most home improvement stores. For Rare Earth Magnets were found on-line and mailed to us (that was the most expensive part of this project). The magnets
stick to the inside of the dryer, and the nails stand out to stab the
That's it! We load a batch of fiber in there, and tumble it for about 20 minutes. Then it's ready to use.