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.