cheap 'starter' and demo tow cards
Submitted by sue on Saturday, 16 July 2011, at 12:12 p.m.

If you're had a few tantalizing minutes at a craft demo trying your hand at carding and want to do more, but are taken aback by the cost of tow cards, try this. Buy a pair of pet grooming slicker brushes. The fine cat ones are great for cotton and super-fine fibers, and try the ones with larger wires for wool. You'll have a carding experience close enough to the real thing so that after you've done hours rather than the few demo minutes, you'll know whether to buy genuine tow cards. Granted, each slicker-brush load is much smaller than a tow card load, but you'll still get the motions and find whether carding is meditation or monotony for your personality. If you find you don't like carding, you can donate your slicker 'carders' to the animal shelter. If you do demos, the slickers are great for people to try out. They're cheap enough that you don't have to worry about mishandling. I found that when our older tow cards were used by all & sundry, the wires got bent out of shape, and those tow cards are close to ruined. I was then very careful with my good tow cards, not letting "just anyone" touch them. They're several decades old, and as good as new. I continue to use the cat slickers as my cotton carders, because I like puny punis.

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