Weekend Carding Alpaca (Inky Dinky Do)

I am still not tired of saying Inky Dinky Do… and this will be a continuation of two previous posts Weekend with a Llama (Inky Dinky Do… actually an Alpaca) and Avocado Dye and Inky Dinky Do.   I am going to continue processing the alpaca fibers by carding them.   I am not an expert at carding and I am sure I will be making some Inky Dinky D’Ohs  (you should be hearing Homer Simpson while reading that).  The previous posts were full of mistakes like calling the fibers wool and the alpaca a llama.  I am positive you may see things here that are wrong  and I would love corrections, hints, and advice in the comments.   I have learned so much from all of you and I hope you feel comfortable helping me and others with this process.


Carding is a simple process that detangles (and cleans if there are any remaining vegetation) the fibers.  The fibers are aligned and become ready for spinning by passing them between two surfaces that have evenly spaced pins… (carders).   Carders can be very expensive… even the hand carders.


I purchased mine on etsy from JaneBoSPIN and they were fairly inexpensive good quality and the coolest part is that came from Moscow in an awesome box…


Here is the alpaca fibers I will be carding.  I am going to try to explain this step by step although I am not sure I have great pictures to show exactly what I am doing.  Please feel welcome to add questions or tips in the comment section.

Carding Alpaca 5.jpg

Step 1:   Load up one of the carders with the fibers.   I start with the right one and you work away from the handle pushing the fibers lightly in and stretching them away from the handle.    You should start a little bit away from the pins near the handle so that when you begin to card it wont tangle up


Step 2: The full carder will be always be stationary and should be placed on your leg with the handle facing out.   Take the other carder and with the handle in the opposite direction lightly drag it over the top of the stationary one.   I also do a small flicking up motion.  If you push too hard the pins will lockup or the fibers will be difficult to remove.   Continue to lightly comb the  carders until all of the fibers are transferred to the other.   Repeat this process 3-4 times or until all of the fibers are parallel.

Carding Alpaca 7.jpg

Step 3:  Remove the fibers by flipping the carders so that both handles are facing the same direction.   Place the empty one at a 90 degree angle and pull down the full one.  This will lift the fibers out of the pins and transfer them to the top of the empty one.

carding-alpaca-8Step 4:   Remove fibers from the carder and roll them into a tube.  I roll from the small side not the long side. (not sure if this is correct)


This completes the steps and the fibers are now ready to spin.  It took me several hours to card all of the alpaca fibers that were shown in this section.


Now I need to spin this wool and figure out what to do with the yarn.   I look forward to your thoughts and comments.



10 thoughts on “Weekend Carding Alpaca (Inky Dinky Do)

  1. Wow, the wool looks for soft and lofty and warm….how gorgeous…I’m all about soft, cozy textures and your accomplishment sure fits the bill. However, not having an ounce of your ingenuity, patience, and adventurous spirit, I am inspired to purchase, rather than create 🙂 Awesome post, as usual…thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You should get some wonderful woolly yarns from those rolags! They’ll be lofty and warm, if you don’t squish the fibre between your fingers when spinning (woollen spun, as opposed to worsted spun). Looking forward to seeing what you make of them!
    As for the “right” way to roll up a rolag, purists will tell you to roll from the long side, but both ways work. Happy spinning! 😀


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