We hope you’ve been enjoying our series of posts on the making of cashmere yarn, today we’re moving onto the Carding process. Carding is a mechanical process that disentangles, cleans and intermixes fibres to produce a continuous web of fibre/yarn suitable for subsequent processing and spinning. The main aim is to further blend and align the fibres. It is¬†achieved by passing the cashmere fibres between differentially moving surfaces covered with card cloth (this is sort of like sand paper and is serrated so it can break down and blend the fibres). It breaks clumps of fibre and then aligns the individual fibres to be parallel with each other creating a “web” which you will see in the images below. It basically looks like candy floss!

Here you can see the fibres going into the machine.  You can see how a blend of colours has been used to create what will eventually be shade of yellow yarn. The recipe used will have been designed in the recipe room and applied on a bigger scale for production using the recipe percentages of each colour.

Below you can see the yarn being churned up and teased in the machine and moving through the different stages to become the thin “web” of cashmere.

The candy floss stage! My personal favourite! The web of cashmere is then loosely laid across the bed of the machine side to side.

Then the machine turns it into this thin width where it is checked by a laser for width and quality – you can see the little red light on the fibre.

The fibre is then loosely spun into yarn on these large bolts. At this stage it is called “slubbing” as it hasn’t been spun into yarn yet and is very weak so if you pulled these threads they would just break apart like a piece of cotton wool It has to be spun and doubled up to give it strength. Which is what happens in the spinning department.

Next time we’ll be showing you the spinning department!

All imagery Ciara Menzies.