Teazel you say…

I was searching the internet looking for an interesting knitting pattern. I came across a vintage baby sweater Free Baby Sweater Knit Pattern Handmade-Adelaide-Baby.com, that required you to use a “TEAZEL” on the finished sweater. That was a word I’ve never heard so it sparked my curiosity. I love trivia so this peeked my interest to dig further. Here’s what I found. A teazel, also spelled “teasel” is a wire brush  teazle brushraising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool

allowing the finished material to take on a furry look. Gingerbread and Humbug, both Teddy bears are teazeled. My Teddy Bears – knitted bears Teazel brushes are available for purchase in the UK.

teaselwhite1_small

I also found out Teasel, is a wild plant naturalized in the U.S. and was used by early settlers to card their wool before spinning. Carding straightens out the fibers in the wool so they are all laying in one direction.spin cards

This is what my carders look like. Using the Teasel plant as a carder must have been a long and arduous task.

I believe when they were speaking of “wool” they had Mohair in mind. Mohair is the product of an Angora Goat.

Angora Goat

The goats originated in Turkey. They are sheared twice a year. As the goat ages his hair becomes coarser. The younger goats having the finer hair making the more desirable mohair. Mohair and wool are very similar in chemical composition. They differ in that, mohair has a much smoother surface and very thin, smooth scales. The scales in wool allow it to felt. As a result of mohair having smooth scales, the fiber is prevented from felting.

From this research I believe the question is To teasel or not to teasel. If you don’t want to teasel…find a furry yarn.

Knitting examiner