How to Comb Wool

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Combing (not to be confused with carding) as a means of aligning wool fibers for worsted spinning is an essential skill for the serious hand spinner throughout the centuries. Though lacking some of the “fluffy” characteristics of woolen spun wool, worsted fibers can generally be drawn into longer thinner yarns with less elastic bounce.

There are historical references to combs going back at least as far as Roman times including the story of Saint Blaise, who was purportedly martyred with iron combs in 316. Combs dating back at least as early as the 10th century have been found in archaeological context from 10th century Viking Jorvik (modern day York). Today combs are still commercially available in a variety of styles, though some traditionalists still make their own.

This video presents a methodical approach to learning how to safely use a set of four pitch English wool combs.

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