A cylinder drive shaft (Fig. 46, R) extends through the whole machine, and carries one combing cylinder (D) per combing head. The combing cylinder in turn supports a combing segment (half-lap) (S), which is bolted to the cylinder and is fitted with metallic clothing (K).
Only metallic clothing is now used on high-performance combers, since this clothing is more robust than the needles that were used formerly, needs no maintenance, is not liable to damage in use, and permits operation with a thick batt sheet. Today metallic clothing is available with as many as three to five zones of point density, i.e. with fewer teeth at the start, a somewhat higher density in the central zone and a still higher density in the trailing zone.