Review: Jo Reeve’s The Ashford Book of Carding


Audience: Beginning Spinners

I want to start by saying most of the tools in my studio are Ashford products.  I’ve been using Ashford tools and products for nearly a decade.  Jo Reeve is an amazing fiber artist and her work is worth checking out. All that said, I was not impressed with this book.

The information on carding is written at the perfect beginner level. The photos are clear and demonstrate concepts well. There is a beautiful section on color theory.  Still, this book fails to address how to deal with problems that can happen during the carding process.  There is no information on pilling from over-carding or how to address an overloaded drum carder, problems that many beginners face.

Unfortunately, this book also reads like an advertisement for Ashford products. I came to the book knowing it was produced by Ashford and expecting some marketing.  I didn’t expect to find a catalog of Ashford’s fiber colors in the back. I was also discouraged by the same marketing jargon repeated multiple times throughout. It was enough that it distracted from the information in the book.

For a beginner who has at least one Ashford product in their possession, this is a pretty solid guide to carding and blending fibers. It is a quick read; I was able to finish it in one sitting before applying the information. There are many books on carding fiber available that may have broader appeal and more relevant information for the beginning fiber artist.



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