Turning fiber into rope, yarn, string has been around for thousands of years. Most modern fiber equipment spinning wheels, drum carders, pickers have only been around for a few hundred years. And a lot of that equipment isn’t really necessary to turn fiber into something usable. At bare minimum you need something to take and align the fibers and something to spin the fibers together. The alignment this can be accomplished with combs. Combs have been around since the ancient norse times. They still exist today, but they can be very expensive.
I found this out when I decided to research into getting a set of combs and they were well over $100 for a set, so I decided to make a set. I used some 3″ 8d finish nails, some pine wood that came with an inkle loom kit (it measured 1″x1 1/4″ and I cut it to 3 1/4″ lengths) and 1/2″ wood dowel cut to 5″. Mine were the 2 row of tines type combs. I drilled the hole for the dowel first and glued it in. Each comb contained 17 tines, the row in the front opposite the handle had 9 tines and the row on the handle side had 8. The 8d nails are 1/8″ thick and I spaced them at 3/16″ apart. The row of 8 tines were offset from the row of 9. The tines were drilled and pushed through from the underside. The front row of 9 were counter sunk about an 1/8″ and the row of 8 were pushed in until they were flush with the backside. This way the front row sit up higher than the back row.
There really isn’t much to them. The combs work just as well as commercial combs. I have used both. Even with the poorly aligned tines, which I will do a better job next time.