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Using a Picker

The picker's purpose is to open the wool to prepare it for carding, or for spinning direct from the picked condition. Sierra Wools developed a production picker when we found existing pickers were very expensive and difficult to order and receive on a timely basis. We built a swing arm style picker, which is much more productive than box pickers or hand combs.

Our picker is a continuous process machine which passes the wool from the front to the rear, where it can drop into a box or container. The picker will tease and blend your wool prior to carding, giving you a greatly improved batt when carded.

Wool Picker Video
                                                     Video of Barbara demonstrating our swing arm picker and how to use...

The picker has sharp spikes and we have added a lock on the swinging cradle, which allows the machine to be carried in safety, and also to protect children or unauthorized people from playing with it and possible injury.

Our picker differs from many other styles; on our picker the teeth overlap, which helps to separate the fibers easier and allows a slight stretch to the wool, especially with longer, fine fibers.  Short strokes from the picker will easily separate short staple fibers (.75 to 2.0”), while long strokes work best with longer fibers (2.0” or longer).  One pass normally is all that is required, with debris falling to the bottom and a container of picked fiber flowing out the back.  A small paint brush makes cleaning the bottom of the picker a snap, with a hole in the bottom to push the debris to the floor.  

We recommend mounting the picker to a surface, and we use a small work table purchased for $20 at Harbor Freight Tools that works very well for the purpose (some assembly required.)  The pickers clamps that are used to secure the unit for transport double as holders for securing the picker to the surface.  

We suggest you try spinning the fibers directly from the picked condition to create a more interesting and irregular texture. Dyed shades put together through the picker can be spun into fascinating variegated yarn. Although you may use it to pick wool in the grease, you will find the tiny seeds and vegetation will fall out more easily from clean, washed wool.