An Overview of Combing Process | Passage Diagram of Comber Machine

Combing Action: 
Combing is a process which is introduced into the spinning of finer and high quality yarns from cotton. The carded materials (sliver) contain certain amount of short fibres, neps, fine kitty and leaf particles. Short fibres are a hindrance to spinning of finer counts where the number of fibre in the cross section of the yarn is less. The short fibres cause thick and uneven places in the yarn length and the yarn looks hairy. Apart from this, very short fibres do not contribute any thing to yarn strength. Short fibres below a certain pre-determined length can be easily separated out by using comber.

Objects of Comber:
  1. To remove the short fibres below a pre-selected length so that the spinner enable to produce finer or better quality of yarn that can not be possible in carding state.
  2. Elimination of remaining impurities.
  3. Elimination of large proportion (not all) of the neps in the fibre.
  4. Formation of sliver having maximum possible evenness.
  5. To straighten the fibres.
Contribution of Comber to Yarn Quality:
  1. To improve the uniformity and strength
  2. Improve the spinning value of fibre.
  3. Reduce the neps in the yarn.
  4. Improve smoothness and luster of yarn.
  5. Produce much clear yarn.
  6. Improve the efficiency of the next process.
  7. Reduce the hairiness of the yarn.
  8. Improve better twist distribution in the yarn.
Major Manufacturers of Comber:
  1. Marzoli Spa, Italy
  2. Laxmi Machine Works Limited
  3. Toyoda Textile Machinery, Japan
  4. Rieter Machine Works Limited, Switzerland
  5. Zhejiang Huahai Group, China
  6. Jinwei Textile Machinery, Co. Limited.
Hook Fiber:
The undesirable bending of the fibre ends produces fibre hook. It is the disadvantages of web formation at the card.

According to an investigation by Morton & Yen in Manchester, the fibres in the web:
  • More then 50% have trailing hook
  • About 15% have leading hook
  • About 15% have double hook
  • And less than 20% of the fibre have no hook.
Hook fibres effectively convert longer fibre to short fibres and these cannot be permitted in the yarn. They must therefore be removed before yarn formation. This can be done either by drafting at draw frame or combing at comber.

Required no. of Machine Passages:

The comber mainly straightens out the leading hooks. That’s why leading hook must be presented to the comber. Reversal of the hook occurs at each processing stage between the card and drawing I, drawing II and comber. Therefore, definite number of machine passages is required in intervening stages. Between the card and comber there must be an even number of passages, and an odd number between the card and ring spinning machine. In rotor spinning machine, the disposition of hooks is of little significance.

Preparation of Raw Materials for Comber:
The raw materials delivered by the carding machine are not suitable for combing both as regards form and fibre arrangement. If card sliver were feed to the comber, then true nipping by the nipping plates (Figure I) could occur only on the high points, with the risk that the nippers could not retain the less strongly compressed edge zone of the slivers. These could be pulled out as clumps by the cylinder combs. That’s why a sheet with greatest possible degree of evenness is therefore required as in feed to the comber.

A good parallel disposition of fibres within the sheet is a further prerequisite. If the fibre lies across the strand (a in fig. II), even long fibres are presented to cylinder combs as of they were short fibres (as shown in b) and they are eliminated as such. This represents unnecessary loss of good fibres.

Types of Comber: 
There are different types of combers are available. These are given below:
  • Rectilinear Comber (with stationery or oscillating nipper)
  • Circular comber
  • Rotary comber
  • Hackling machine (bast fibres)
Passage Diagram of Comber Machine:
Passage Diagram of Comber Machine
Basic Principle of a Comber (Combing sequence/ cycle): 
One article has written about basic principle of a comber. So here only title of comber principle is given below.
  1. Lap feeding by feed roller
  2. Lap nipping by the nipper
  3. Combing by the cylinder
  4. Nipper opening and forwarding
  5. Detaching roller backward movement
  6. Piecing
  7. Combing by the top comb
  8. Detaching roller forward movement
  9. Starting a new cycle
  10. Cleaning of cylinder comb
Combing Faults: 
Already one article has publish on Problems, Causes and Remedies of Combing Process. So here shortly described about it.

a) Cutting across: Thick and thin places across the width of th web.

  • The fault originates in the laps owing to the use of incorrect setting, excessive draft at the lap former.
  • Incorrect timing of the detaching roller.
  • Top comb setting too deeply.
b) Curling: The term is applied when a group of fibres curls as they leave detaching roller.

  • Faulty detaching roller covering.
  • Dirt in the top detaching rollers.
  • Excessive brush speed.
  • Bent needle of cylinder and top comb.
c) Cotton not combing at one head:

  • Pawl not gearing properly with feed ratchet wheel.
  • Foreign matter wedge between nipper and feed plate.
  • Damaged part of cylinder and top comb.
d) Detaching roller lapping:

  • Incorrect atmospheric condition.
  • Oil on rollers
  • Sticky matter or dirt on rollers
  • Worn out roller coating.
  • Bad top cleaners.
e) Irregular sliver:

  • Excessive tension on calendar roller.
  • Improper roller setting.
  • Faulty adjustment of suction unit.
  • Eccentricity of roller.
Published By
S. M. Hossen Uzzal
B.Sc. in Textile Technology
Monno Fabrics Ltd. Manikgonj.
Sharing Knowledge: Students, teachers and professionals can publish your article here. It is a platform to express your knowledge throughout the world. For details: Submit Article


Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant and researcher on online business promotion. He is working with one European textile machinery company as a country agent. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

Let's Get Connected: LinkedIn | Facebook | Email:

Back To Top