Wool blending hackles are used to mix fibres to make special blends of combed tops. I’ve never used hackles so before I went mad and bought or made some (they are expensive) I borrowed some from Freyalyn to give them a try. So here’s a quick picture guide of what you do.
Fix the hackle to the table.
Take a length of fibre and using just the one hand flick it forwards down onto the spikes then pull your hand backwards – this leaves some fibres on the hackle. Work your way right across the spikes.
Take another colour/shade and repeat.
With this side view you can see a lot of fibre can be packed onto the hackle in layers of shades / colours.
Next you need a diz which is a disc or oval made of wood, plastic, cardboard or, as in this case, shell with a hole in the middle.
Twist the tips of a few fibres to help you thread the it through the hole.
Push the diz toward the comb as you draw the wool off the comb to form the top.
Work your way back and forth across the spikes until all the fibre has been pulled off. You’ll have a lovely stripey narrow combed top which will look great whether you spin or felt with it.
My verdict – lovely result but I can’t see me using it often enough to warrant the buying or making of a hackle. I’m so glad I tried it out though.