Teasel

From Academic Kids

Teasel (or teazel) is an herbaceous plant of the Dipsacaceae Family. The name usually refers to Fuller's Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum), a plant used to raise the nap on fabrics, particulaly wool. Several other plants of genus Dipsacus were also used for this purpose. Teasels were purposely cultivated to provide the stiff egg-shaped cluster of spiked bracts used for combing and brushing textiles. The dried flower head was attached to spindles, wheels, or cylinders, sometimes called teasel frames, to raise the nap on fabrics (that is, to tease the fibers).

During the 20th Century, the teasels were replaced by metal cards, which could be made uniform and did not require constant replacement of carefully chosen teasels. Some individuals who weave wool still use teasels for raising the nap, claiming that the result is far better. Also, if a teasel meets serious resistance in the fabric, it will break, whereas a metal tool would rip the cloth.

Now these plants are regarded as weeds, although they find some use in floral displays or herbal remedies.

Image:Teaselhead2155.JPG

Fullers' Teasel: dried head
Cayuga Heights, New York


Some of the medicinal properties claimed for the teasel:

  • Cure of Lyme Disease.
  • Antibiotic.
  • Improved circulation.
  • Cure for warts.
  • Eyewash (water collected in the cup formed by sessile leaves).

Missing image
Teaselbloom2664.JPG
Image:Teaselbloom2664.JPG

Teasel in bloom
Wilmington, Ohio
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