I raise long wool sheep. I bought combs this year and absolutely love using them. Now, I am considering the purchase of a hackle. I have been watching videos of blending with a hackle showing that you load the hackle up and then diz the fiber off. I specifically am interesting in blending fibers in this manner.
I’d like to know if there is a difference in a blending hackle and a combing hackle. . Or is it just a hackle and you use it to comb or blend?
Do you only blend top on a hackle or can you blend roving also?
Do you have a favorite type or brand of hackle? My combs are valkrye two pitch fines. Would I need a two pitch hackle to match or can combs or hackle have different pitches? Which would you recommend for border leicester, romney, finnsheep and BFL fleeces?
All my wool has been processed into roving. I do have a blending board that I use but I wondered about the hackle since obviously, if it doesn’t work with roving there isn’t any really push to get one soon.
I have used a hackle to blend fibers - and I’ve often taken commercial rovings and combed them, and then put them on the hackle to diz them off. My favorite fiber to spin with is combed top, and roving is just one step short of that, in my mind - the fibers are mostly aligned/parallel, but much more compacted, than after I’ve combed them.
I don’t personally own a hackle, but I have a good friend who does, and she shares My preferred method is to comb the fiber two or three times, and then take the combed fiber and put it onto the hackle. After I’ve loaded the hackle about half-full, I will diz it off into long pieces of combed top, and then twist those into a little nest. If I’m not at my friend’s home, then I’ll diz or handpull it off the combs, but my little nests of fiber are much smaller. My friend has a YouTube channel and does lots of videos on combing wool. She’s actually taught classes on combing at Maryland Sheep & Wool and Rhinebeck. You could probably contact her for recommendations on the particulars of what size combs to use for the various fleeces you’ve mentioned.
You are fortunate to have such a friend! I decided not to get a hackle this year. My fleeces are all in rovings now anyway. Does said friend have a name I could use to look them up? I’ve watched tons of Youtube videos on using combs and hackles. I might have already seen her in action.