I was given a new pair of ashford hand cards a few months back, and I've finally found the time to use them. But before I do, I have a question about 'dressing' them. I can't recall at the moment where it was I ran across this, but I do remember hearing somewhere that using some fine sandpaper on the teeth of hand cards (to put a bit more of a point on them, I believe) before you first use them is advisable. So, should I 'dress' them in this manner?
I would love to hear what people think about this.
I imagine I should dress mine. I never got around to it. What I do is run the tips across each other for a bit. If the tips catch, then they need to be dressed. I find most don't. That is my opinion.
I do think that you will need to clean and then oil (if necessary), mist, or lubricate your wool. I do know that many people exalt the qualities of grease wool, but forget the sheep-to-human diseases that can cross between without proper wool cleaning. Personally, I've known what hoof and mouth disease can do to a human and don't want it for myself.
Before you do, maybe you should check with Ashford. If you are supposed to "dress" them then let us ALL know, but I think you could also ruin them by creating burrs that will catch and tear your wool. I have old Clemes carders and I never dressed mine and they work fine.
You bring up an excellent point. Different makers have different finishing techniques. I have Clemes, Howard, and and Gilmakra (distributor JoAnne Hall lives nearby). I use each for different things and haven't "dressed" any of them.