What are teasels used for?

Teasels - are used in the making of woollen cloth. The common teasel grows wild in England and Wales and southern parts in Scotland. It is also found in Europe, Asia and North Africa. The teasel has large prickly flower heads which remain on the dead stems throughout the winter. The actual flowers are tiny deep lilac clorets and round the base of the flower head there is a ring of spines. The stem and leaves are prickly and the leaves are joined at the stem to collect rainwater. The teasel belongs to the scabious family and many people collect them in autumn for decoration throughout the winter. There is also a garden teasel called fuller's teasel, which has little hooks at the end of the spines, or bracts, surrounding the base of the flower head. This is the teasel that is used in the making of woollen cloth. The cloth is brushed up with the teasels so that the fibres of wool become separated from each other. This is known as "teasing".

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