The Carder is the heart of a fiber mill. It separates randomly placed fibers from each other and individually aligns these fibers, presenting them in the form of a continuous web at the output end.  

Each feed of fiber is weighed and placed on the infeed belt.  As the swift carries the fiber forward, those fibers that are not yet straightened are picked up by a worker and carried over the top to its paired stripper. Straightened fibers are carried by the swift to the fancy. The fancy’s card cloth is designed to engage with the swift’s card cloth so that the fibers are lifted to the tips of the swift’s card cloth and carried by the swift to the doffer. The fancy and the swift are the only rollers in the carding process that actually touch.

The slowly turning doffer removes the fibers from the swift and carries them to the comb where they are stripped from the doffer. A fine web exits the carder.

The web can be turned into batts which are used in quilts and felt making.  In that case, the fiber is collected on a roller at the back of the machine.  Alternatively, the web can be consolidated into roving, also referred to as sliver, which is further processed into yarns. The carder can also make rug yarn.