On a drum carder, the fibers are deposited on the large drum, after a short carding process between the small and the large drums.
The fundamental differences between the industrial carders and the drum carders have resulted in the following design and operating consequences for the Louet drum carders:
The most important difference between the Louet drum carders and other drum carders is the method of supplying fiber to the drums. Most drum carders have a feed tray where teased fibers are deposited and then pushed towards the small or intake drum. Next, this intake drum transports the fibers to the large drum. The Louet drum carder has a small board below and in front of the in-take drum. This board exists for construction purposes only. The board is not designed to be a feed tray.
To feed the Louet drum carder, take some fibers in your left hand, and have the in-take drum pull this fiber out of your left hand, while you turn the crank on the large drum. Carefully, do not allow too much fiber to be pulled out of your hand. You will develop a kind of sliver between your hand and the in-take drum. This is a fiber preparation, akin to the teasing required for other drum carders, and is therefore a time-saving feature of the Louet drum carder. As a result of the fibers being pulled out of your hand, the majority of fibers will be orientated in the direction of the carding action.
This effect cannot be created by teasing, but it is essential in obtaining the required carding effect.
The Louet drum carder has ½" high carding cloth instead of ¼" like our competitors. The practical result of higher teeth on the carding cloth is that the Louet drum carder can hold twice as much fiber as our competitors drum carders.
The quantity of fiber that can be carded to a batt depends on the size of the large drum and the size of the teeth. If you want to card a small amount of fiber, we advise to fill only the center portion of the large drum. It is easier to remove the batt from the middle of the drum than to remove a thinner batt from the whole drum.
The drums on an industrial carder are adjusted so that they do not touch each other. It is our experience, however, that with a drum carder that has cloth with flexible teeth, the best results are obtained when the teeth intertwine. The exact depth of intertwining is not important. Louet has been manufacturing Louet Drum Carders for more than 20 years for the market world wide and we have never had to replace carding cloth due to wear of the carding cloth that could be attributed to the intertwining of the teeth.
Again, in more than 20 years, we have never replaced a gearbox.
Besides higher teeth the Louet carding cloth also has two other significant differences with our competitor's carding cloth. The teeth are placed in the carding cloth in a way that allows the teeth to flex in the direction of the carding action. This flexing makes the carding process easier on the fibers, causing less fiber breakage. The teeth are staggered alternately. They do not form continuous rows of teeth as in other drum carders. The combined effects of these teeth and teeth placement is a more homogeneous carding result.
Due to the unique features of teeth placement, size, and flexibility, the commonly used comparative feature of "number of teeth per square" in carding cloth does not give an accurate indication of what to expect from Louet Drum Carders.
The in-take drum on the Louet drum carder accumulates more fibers than other drum carders. For best result, we recommend to leave this fiber on the take-up drum, and only clean the take-up drum if it is absolutely necessary due to incompatibility of fiber to be carded, or color changes.