In Praise of The Hackle

Why are we so obsessed with drum carders and mini-combs?  Where is the love of the hackle?  If you haven’t tried a hackle yet, consider it.  It is an amazing tool that is almost magical in its blending capability.  Your spinning will be effortless with hackled fibers and you will be able to create the coolest yarns.

Can you stand it?!

My hackle is a Lanicomb big boy.  It is 18 inches long.  The Lanicomb is a sturdy, well-made hackle.  It was very easy to use and I really love it.  It just so happens that it is the hackle that Deb Menz used in her book, Color in Spinning.  I highly recommend it.  (As for a hackle cover, I took a sheet of white poster board, cut it to size, and stapled the sides shut.)

Here it is with some more of the Hobbledehoy fiber I drum carded yesterday.  I lashed on across the combs with each color.

Me diz!

My lovely diz from Mr Forsyth is doing a great job.  I used his threader too.  They came with my Russian Paddle Combs, but I digress.


As you can see, all the colors lined up and were pulled out at the same time, giving me lovely stripey goodness.  This will make a pretty heathered yarn.

Here is the finished ball waiting to be spun.

Next up, is the same fiber but in short rows.

Notice how the colors are next to each other here and not on top.  This will give a different effect when finished.

Add a little dyed tussah silk!  Just cause I can.

Dizzing, dizzing!

Notice how the finished fiber here is in blocky sections of color?  Well, with the silk blending it a bit.

The ball on the left is the first one I put on the hackle with the colors lashed on in long stripes.  The ball on the right is the second one in this post.  The yarn from the second ball will spin up with short stripes if kept as singles or chain-plied.

Check out what you can do in a short time with a hackle.  I got this hackle off kbb spin for only $50.  I had always wanted a hackle but thought them a luxury item and not a necessity for some reason.  I was so wrong.  You can hackle beautiful blends in less time than it takes to drum card a multicolored batt.  Another positive is that you will be handling the fiber the whole time.  For those of you who like pre-drafting just so you have an excuse to fondle your fibers, a hackle is for you.  Ask around and see if you can pick one up.  Seriously, this is a must for any spinner.



Filed under equipment review, hackling

6 responses to “In Praise of The Hackle

  1. Interesting. I bought a hackle just before we moved last year, but I haven’t played with it yet. Sounds like fun!

  2. Do you have a video of you hackling? I’ve always been afraid I would kill myself. I raise alpacas and have 7 in the cashmere fiber range under 19 micron and 6 in grade 2 under 23 microns. Also my big problem is getting out VM as I live in the high desert. Thank you for your response.
    Frana of Phi Beta Paca: Alpacas of Taos

    • kneyda

      Using a hackle is really pretty safe, just like combing. Here is a video of one in action. You can go as slow or fast as you need to.

      I haven’t done this but a lot of people put their alpaca fiber with VM in the clothes dryer on the “NO HEAT” setting. They have had really good luck with getting out the majority of VM that way. Then, you may want to follow it up with either flicking out your locks or combing your fiber. You will probably have to keep a spray bottle with water handy or get the humidifier going so that the fiber doesn’t fly around too much in such dry conditions.

      Please try it though. I love using my hackle and combs as well. The fiber comes out so perfect and is easy to spin as well. Hope this helps. :)

  3. Marlene

    Do you have any tools on sale

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