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Reddish Vale Country Park

Flowers/July

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Teasel

Teasel is a native biennial.

Common on roadsides, pastures, wood edges and stream banks in southern England and Midlands. Rare elsewhere and absent from north Scotland.

The seeds of the teasel are an important winter food for goldfinches and are often grown in nature reserves to attract them.

Grows to a height of 2m and flowers end of July to August.

A cultivated variety of teasel, called Fuller's teasel was widely used in the textile industry as a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool. It differs from the wild species in having stouter spines on the seed heads.

The dried heads were attached to spindles, wheels or cylinders, sometimes called teasel frames. By the 20th century, teasels were largely replaced by metal cards, which could be made uniform and did not need replacement.

Some people who weave wool still prefer to use teasel for raising the nap, claiming the results are better, in particular, if the teasel meets serious resistance in the fabric, it will break, whereas a metal tool would rip the cloth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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