combing, process that follows carding in the preparation of fibers for spinning, lays the fibers parallel, and removes noils (short fibers). The modern combing machine is a specialized carding machine. Combing produces a fine sliver suitable for drawing out and spinning into strong, smooth yarn. The process, used for long staple cottons and worsted yarn, is expensive, since up to 25% of the card sliver is eliminated. Hackling is a form of combing, often by hand, used for linen.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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