As mentioned in my earlier post, I’ve been contemplating that the path the textile industry took during the industrial revolution may be responsible for the downfall of the Cotswold. I think we can change that with new technologies that help all the long wool breeds.
I’m no genius, I’m not smarter than the 250 years of engineers who have worked on the problem of wool processing before me, but I have a different focus, a different goal, and therefore may come to very different results.
I’ve since been doing my reading. It seems that there are not enough Cotswolds in the world to keep a single industrial sized carding machine busy, so even if we revolutionized the technology there would likely be no large commercial buyer of our machine. I have since turned to look at small hobby scale machines, something that would work for the same market that buys motorized drum carders, but is better suited to processing long wool.
I attended the Rochester Makerspace open community night (every Thursday night) and brought my wool processing tools. The interested parties were quite taken with the manual processes, and we had an impromptu combing/flicking/spinning class. No engineering was performed.
I got a chance to spend an afternoon with an interested engineer, and we played with some sketches, but I’d not brought the manual tools which might have been helpful in demonstrating the combing concept.
Simple tools I’m considering making:
- An extra long blending board
- 2 and 4 rank comb sets
- Blending hackle
More complex tools I’m considering inventing:
- Motorized flicker
- Automated combs
I still have a lot of reading to do, I have to study up on the wool, cotton, and flax industries, and the machines that run them. I’m hoping the long fiber problem has already been solved for flax and we don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
If you like to tinker or design, we could use your help. Give me a buz and I’ll keep you updated on which nights we will be at the Makerspace. If you like to tinker or design but don’t want to help, I might recommend the Makerspace anyway.