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What is combing?

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The method of preparing carded fibre for spinning is called a combing process. It consists of straightening and parallelising of fibers along with the removal of short fibers and impurities. The process of combing is done by a comb assisted by brushes and rollers. The main purpose of combining fibers is to improve the quality of the sliver coming out of the card. It helps to straighten curls, removes neps and residue impurities from fiber. Combing is a very essential process to achieve good quality of fibers and yarns during the spinning process.

Depending on the end product, around 12% to 25% of waste is generated during the combing process. The discarded short fibers during the combing process are called noils which are afterward ground up into shoddy. There are mainly two combining processes which are linear combing and circular combing. The degree of combing refers to the amount of noil extracted during the combing process expressed in percentages. This degree of combing affects the quality of yarn and its end uses.

Based on the degree of combing, the combing process can be divided into four types:
• Half combing: In this type of combing upto 8% of noil is extracted.
• Ordinary combing: In this type of combing around 9% to 15% noil is extracted.
• Full combing: In this type of combing around 16% to 18% of noil is extracted.
• Double combing: In this type of combing around 19% to 25% of noil is extracted.

In the combing process of cotton fibers, Heilmann comber and Naismith comber are used while in the combing process of worsted wool Noble comber and French comber are used.

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