Fibre can get a bit compact sometimes, particularly when stored away.
When you first receive fibre, most sellers like me will pack in plastic. This is because we need to preserve the fibre during transit. Make sure you unpack the fibre and store it in a cool, dry place with good ventilation. For example I have a lined wicker basket I keep my fluff in.
Over time fibre stored in plastic will lose its best qualities and often become more compact than you'd like it for spinning.
If you do have compact fibre, or an area of compaction that you want to address before you start spinning, then here's what I recommend;
Firstly predrafting the fibre - Here's a video of how I predraft... pre-drafting-for-spindle-or-wheel-spinning
If you are finding it a bit harder to pull apart in an area where you have a more compact bit, then I suggest using a flick carder, or hand carders, or a drum carder to separate the fibres again. If you don't have the budget for carders then you can, at a push get away with a pet brush. This is not ideal as the teeth aren't set up for wool fibres, but it can help. This is the method I would use for a flick carder/pet brush;
- Tear the fibre/tops into manageable pieces.
- Take the first one and split it into halves, or 1/4s depending on how compact you are finding the top/fibre.
- Wearing an apron, or some cover for your legs (that won't get caught on the teeth of the brush), hold the fibre/top at the mid way point at a slightly downward angle to your leg. Take the brush with your other hand and start to comb the fibres, like a pony tail of hair. Keep carding until the action becomes easier and the fibres become separated. Move up the length of the fibre to comb the rest. If you start finding it difficult to comb further up, simply tear off the piece you have combed and start again on the next part of the length of fibre/top.
- You can draft from these smaller combed pieces at your wheel, or if you have hand carders, or a drum carder you can make a batt or rolag to spin with. I have some more videos on this... On youtube.
I hope this helps?
Have a wonderful day... Sara x