How to Make a Hand Carder

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Things You'll Need

  • 1/2-inch thick wood board, 10-inch wide by 3.5-inch long

  • 1/2-inch square rod, 6-inches long.

  • 10 inch wide by 3.5-inch long carding cloth

  • Wood staples

  • Carving knife

  • Medium grit sandpaper

  • Wood glue

  • 3/4 inch wood screws

  • Electric drill

Make your own carder to control even more of the process from sheep to sweater.

Before fibers can be turned into yarn, they must be carded. Carding is similar to brushing the fur on an animal. If you already spin your own yarn, you may wish to go a step further in the process and card your own raw fibers. Carders can be purchased commercially, but you can make your own with very few materials. The instructions below are for a carder made with a standard 10-inch wide by 3.5-inch long carding cloth, but can be modified for use with any size carding cloth.


Step 1

Carve along the sides of the square rod with the knife to smooth the sharp edges. Go over the entire surface with sand paper until it feels comfortable in your hand. This rod will form the carder handle. Leave one end of the handle untouched.

Step 2

Lay the handle on the board, with the end that you didn't carve or sand in the center of the board. The rest of the handle should jut out from one of the 10-inch sides.

Step 3

Attach the handle by drilling two screws through it and into the board.


Step 4

Spread some wood glue onto the side of the carder without the handle. Press the carding cloth to the wood.

Step 5

Staple around the edges of the cloth to attach it firmly to the wood.