A New Fiber Tool–the Flea Comb

A while back, I bought this brown-grey mohair fleece.

pic of washed mohair

So pretty at first glance, but it has scurf*–those sticky dandruff-like flakes that take quite an effort to get out of fiber.

The scurf didn’t show in this fleece until after it was scoured and the locks were being teased apart.

pic of scurf in fiber

A close up of the ick

What to do? Since I lost the shepherd’s info, there were two options: use the fleece for mulch or find a way to remove the scurf without too much work.

After a labor-intensive and largely unsuccessful attempt with a flick carder, I made another attempt with my newest fiber tool, a flea comb.

pic of flea comb

This one is about 6 inches long, and has two rows of tines.

Overhead view of rows of tines

Overhead view of rows of tines

The handle makes the comb comfortable to use and the comb itself does a decent job of getting the flakes out of the fiber. Yes, it’s still more work than just teasing the locks apart, but it’s not absolutely terrible.

pic of waste fiber

Nasty bits removed by the comb

So after a little bit of work, the mohair is beautiful and ready to use.

pic of fiber after scurf is removed

Scurf and vm free!

So do I continue? Not sure. There are so many fibers yet to be discovered, but there’s never enough time!

* If you’d like to know more about scurf, see this post by Deborah Robson and this post by Rhonna Robbins-Sponaas.

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