For the past few weeks I've been researching drum carders and I find myself a little overwhelmed. First of all, I'm sort of a "jumper-inner" kind of person so the fact that I've spent weeks researching anything is new.
Second of all, I keep thinking that surely I must be able to build my own drum carder and my mind is kind of reeling from the echo of logic saying, "nope, not this time". Though I do keep casting glances at dog brushes and giant rollers when in stores, thinking maybe...
Truly, I don't mind paying for quality tools but I'll admit that the steep price of these babies is what has me doing extra, extra research. Even the more affordable models are not exactly affordable. (I literally paid less money for my first car. (1969 Plymouth Valiant. 4-door, metallic green, white top.)
So, I'm asking for a little help from those of you with experience. I know I'd like a drum carder with a medium or coarse cloth, since I want to process shorter staple-length breeds specifically for needle-felting. Beyond that, stumped. Are the high-end machines that much more efficient? I like the chain driven models, because they seem more sturdy, but in practice does it really matter? The brush that holds the wool to the drum seems like a good idea, but again, does it matter? Are the less expensive models going to be something that I will use for years or only months? I'd love to find a used machine but sheesh, good luck. They seem to be rarer than hens' teeth. Does anyone have any advice? Or a lead on a used machine? Or a winning lottery ticket you don't want? (hey, it was worth a shot)
Like I said, I'm a little overwhelmed.
While I figure it all out I've been washing and dyeing some fleece that I got a few weekends ago. I'm utterly in love with the autumnal brown with hints of green, russet, and orange that I pulled out of this latest dye pot (it is much prettier in person). I brushed it out with a pair of dog slicker brushes and it needle-felted up beautifully. I already have a project in the works for which it will be the perfect addition.
Thanks in advance for any advice you might have for me, and I hope the week starts off wonderfully for all of you. Happy Monday.