Paddle combs

Russian Paddle Combs

Storage / Carry bag included

Our Paddle Combs are based on a design used by the Doukhobors, a group of Russians who started to migrate to Canada at the end of the nineteenth century following persecution in their own country.

With help from the Canadian government the Doukhobors started to settle in the Prairies, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Their communities maintained the traditional style of textile production practiced in their homeland and to used the traditional tools to do so. The women and children used Paddle Combs to process the double coated fleeces that their sheep produced. The combs allowed them to remove guard hairs with ease, leaving the softer fibres on the combs. This fibre was spun directly from the tines to produce the yarns needed for knitting and weaving. The guard hairs were collected and later spun into strong yarn for warping their looms, leashes for their animals, bags, etc.

The Doukhobors' paddle combs had only one row of tines, which was suitable for their type of wool. Our combs are made with two rows to make them much more versatile. Not only are they great for de-hairing and the spinning fine yarns, but the double row is great for finer fibres such as Llama, Alpaca, Camel, even Flax, long cotton and Hemp can be processed. This design enables the Paddle combs to be used much like a Blending Hackle, allowing the blending of colours and different fibres.

Our handmade paddle combs are crafted now in either, ‘Black Walnut’ or ‘Jatoba’. They are used in a somewhat similar way as Viking combs but are much larger and they have a much greater fibre capacity. The combed fibre is spun directly from the loaded combs.

Usage: Place the stand on a chair so that approximately half of its length is projecting over the edge of the seat with the post to the outside. Sitting on the stand holds it firmly in position, a cushion can be used to increase comfort. Place one paddle on the post with tines pointing up. Swing the tines towards you and then lash on the fibre whilst holding the handle securely. Start with a small amounts adding more when familiar with the action. Still holding the handle, take the second paddle in the other hand with the tines facing down. Start to stroke the fibres with the second comb. The action starts with a smooth downward stroke, the fibres are engaged on to the second comb and then drawn away with a pulling motion. Avoid metal to metal contact as much as possible to reduce unnecessary wear. Repeat this action until each comb has about 50% of the fibre attached. With the first comb handle pointing away from the spinning wheel place the second comb on the dowel so that the handle will be pointing towards you. Pull guard hairs from both paddles until only the finer fibres remain. Now you are ready to spin, start spinning off the paddle closest to you, moving across the comb. Fibre is spun from one comb, uninterrupted straight onto the other working your way to the other side. At this point reverse direction and work back towards the starting point. Continue spinning back and forth until all the fibre is spun off. If more guard hairs appear during the spinning simply remove them as you go.


Jatoba and Walnut 12cm
Jatoba and Walnut

Mounted Paddles 12cm
Mounted Paddles












Our Paddle Combs Videos :-

Part 1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol8LfbWvdBQ
Part 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCDkfsAb5OU
Part 3.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yqfUg8HJTE
Part 4.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cwipEuD-KE