My babies all lined up and ready to comb!
The comb and hackle set was made for those who process their own fleeces and want to comb larger quantities at one time....what I call "production combing". The combs were designed to be held with two hands when combing to make it more comfortable to comb for a longer period of time. The handles, which are all of one piece of wood, are designed and shaped not just for comfort but for maximum control, much like a good hammer, so that even without looking the comber can tell which way the head of the comb is facing. This also makes it possible to flip the comb when reloading the hackle without looking at it so you don't lose your rhythm.
As Eric has told me many times it's the stationary hackle that really does most of the work when combing. However, one must take into account what type of fleece is being combed, staple length, condition of the fleece such as amount of vegetable matter, any matting of the fibers, etc , the amount of fleece you intend to comb in one session, and any physical limitations the comber may have. The answers to these questions will help you decide which comb is best for your purpose. I would like to say that all of the combs will comb ALL types of fiber equally well. The difference between combs comes in when you ask how many passes do you want to make to get your fiber spinnable and do you, as the comber, have any issues with your hands or wrists that could be aggravated by combing??
ROMNEY/BFL--is slightly matted with dry ends and is of medium fineness LLAMA--very little VM but what is there are larger pieces, lots of short cuts, fine to medium fine softness ALPACA--short cuts, fair amount of vegetable matter of all shapes and sizes, very fine and soft MERINO--very small chaff like VM, shortcuts and nepps, fine in softness
I chose 4 different types of fleece to get a variety of of staple lengths, vegetable matter content and type, fineness, and "fleece conditions". I combed a hackle full of each fleece with each type of comb and recorded how many passes it took to remove vegetable matter and second cuts to make a nice smooth spinning fiber. All of my fleece has been scoured/washed.........I NEVER put raw fleece on my combs and hackles.
Note: 1 Pass = combing off the hackle and reloading back onto the hackle one time.
NECESSARY WARNING: The tines are blunted on the ends but still sharp and will cause injury unless all due caution and care are employed in their use and storage. Please do not use these in close proximity to others or pets. Do not allow others unfamiliar with combing to use these without direct and constant supervision. Do not allow children of any age, convicted felons, former presidents of the U.S. or other questionable individuals to use or have access to these. Please store them immediately after use to prevent inadvertent injury to yourself or others.