WOVEMBER WORDS #17

Napping: the process of raising the fibres on the surface of the cloth to give blankets a soft, fluffy appearance. This was done by combing the surface of the blanket with a teaseler, made from inserting teasel heads (a type of thistle) into a wooden bat. The ‘gig mill’ was a development from the hand teaseler. Hundreds of teasel heads were fixed to a large revolving drum, somewhat like a carding engine. The gig was driven by water power and the cloth was moistened and brought gently into contact with the revolving teasels so as to raise the nap. In the past, some cloths were shorn after napping, the shearers using large shears to complete the work. This was highly skilled work and the cloth produced was described as ‘dress finished’

– J. Geraint Jenkins – From Fleece to Fabric, The Technological History of the Welsh Woollen Industry, Gomer Press 1981, Llandysul, Dyfed

A billiard table worth its salt is covered in napped woollen cloth.

 

 

 

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This entry was posted by tomofholland.

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