Replacing the carding cloth on an Ashford drum carder

Seen here posing on its original box is an old Ashford carder following some restoration.

I bought this one unseen, and regretted it because the teeth were rusty rendering the carder unusable.

Replacement cloth is available but replacing it is very involved, time consuming and difficult. Not a job I want to do again. The cloth is available via your Ashford dealer (look no further) and the instructions for dismantling the carder are available for download from Ashford's site.

The original cloth is held on by industrial-strength staples. I stopped short of buying the staple gun after I spoke to a UK maker who uses strong double-sided tape to secure the cloth (plus the doffing strips of course).

As well as replacing the cloth and drive belt, the doffing strips came up like new using a spark-plug cleaning brass brush, and the wood looks good after a teak-oil and wax polish (this one doesn't seem to have been lacquered as per the current model).

I'll use it for a while and make sure that the cloth stays put.


JJ said...

I read your post above with interest. I've recently purchased an old Morrison carder (originally from NZ) and need to replace the carding cloth. I've found several courses for the cloth, but a dearth of instructions. May I ask (of you recall) what type of double-sided sticky tape you used? Did you cover the entire drum with the tape, and then fix the cloth onto it? How did you go about removing the plates? Reinstalling the? Thanks for any assistance you can provide!

peahen said...

Hi Jill. The tape I used was from the stationery store, nothing special. I didn't cover the entire drum but went round about 5 times with the tape. I think it serves to hold the cloth in place, the doffing strips really secure the cloth.

I warmed the cloth in order to stretch it slightly as I wound it around the drum. The strips on an Ashford are secured with screws so they were easy to remove and replace.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Sheila,
is there any reason why you couldn't replace a fine cloth with a coarse one, or vice versa?

peahen said...

Hi Alison, No there's no reason why not. But you should regard it as a permanent change. It's a big and difficult job, there's no way you'd want to switch back and forth.

John said...

Please tell me what the drum itself was made from. I am trying to design a carding drum, but I'm kind of stuck on the drum construction. Thank you!

peahen said...

Hi John
I'm really not sure about the construction of the drums. They're wood and I think they're hollow.

Ann said...

I have an old drum exactly like yours. After removing the ancient cloth (I am about the 4th owner) I coudn't remove all the nails, so I hammered most of them in--some won't respond and are sticking a bit up.

Your sticky tape's a good idea, but I think I'll try to find a repair man to do the whole job.

I have yet to buy the replacement cards, but I don't see any reason the size can't be different than the original. Mine were HUGE and I have to go smaller. I have the fine ones on my Fancy Kitty (electrified--it's great) so I want something in between for preparing.


peahen said...

Hi Ann, I'm sure you can use a different type of carding cloth. The Ashford regular-width carders come in fine, coarse and superfine and I'm sure they're the same carder with different cloth.