Bee Combs for Wool!

I made a discovery in 2017, when searching for an economic version of wool combs. I've had a pair of hand cards for years, and in a pinch cat or dog slicker brushes will work, though they're much smaller so you will need to card in smaller batches. I've tried dog combs for making a combed preparation, but wasn't really happy with them.

So that's why one day I decided to wander the local farm store, and see what they might have. I was browsing the horse area, when I found inexpensive combs in a neighboring section - beekeeping. Now, you're probably thinking to yourself, what do bees have to do with processing fiber? It's not the bees themselves, but their combs. Beekeepers use handheld comb scratchers to remove excess wax. They're also known as uncapping forks.

At Rural King they sell for $5 apiece, so you can have a pair of mini combs for $10. I've seen them online for cheaper, but a local purchase means instant gratification. I've purchased 4-5 pairs at this point, and have gifted some to some fibery friends. My intention is to mark them (the easiest way would be to use different colored yarn in the peg hole), so I have a pair or two for clean wool and another for greasy wool.

Now, if you're used to proper wool combs, bee advised that the tines are shorter, so you won't be able to pack as much wool onto these. But for small projects, for those processing on a budget, or for teaching, they're great!

I shared my find on a few FB groups as soon as I tried them out, and last month I saw other people recommending them to new spinners wanting to learn how to comb their own fiber! Mine have a bend in the tines about halfway down - I've seen some online that are straight. I don't know if one works better than the others.

I've also used them very carefully on my dad's dog to work on slightly matted fur - I made sure not to scratch her with the tines, because they are pretty pointy. She didn't mind them as much as some of the other dog combs & brushes we've tried with her.