Tuesday, April 07, 2015

GOATS – Mohair production – use of TEASELS

The teasel, teazel or teazle is a flowering plant (considered as invasive species in the USA). It is native to Europe, Asia and northern Africa and grows to 1–2.5 metres (3.3–8.2 ft).

   For hundreds of years teasels were used to create the fluffiness for which mohair is recognized. Evidence exists that teasels were used to comb the mohair cloth worn by the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Historically, teasels were used as a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the 'nap' on wool or mohair. Mohair is the fleece shorn from an angora goat (not to be confused with angora from an angora rabbit).
With their prickly stem and leaves, and purple, dark pink or lavender coloured flowers, teasels are easily identified.

In textile manufacture, the dried flower heads were attached to spindles, wheels, or cylinders, sometimes called teasel frames, to tease the fibres in the fabric. One problem with teasel heads in commercial production was that they wore out very quickly so, by the 20th century, teasels had been replaced by metal hand-cards or small brushes.

Craft workers, however, who hand-spin and weave cloth at home often prefer to use dried teasels when finishing their fabric.

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