Aplant, the heads of which are employed in the dressing of woollen cloth, and for which operation no substitute equally effective has hitherto been discovered. The teazle has been considered as affording almost a solitary instance of a natural production being applied to mechanical purposes in the state in which it is produced. It appears, that many attempts have been made to supply a substitute for the teazles, by art, all of which have been abandoned as defective or injurious. The use of the teazle is to draw out the ends of the wool from the manufactured cloth, so as to bring a regular pile or nap upon the surface, free from twistings and knottings, and to comb off the coarse and loose parts of the wool. The head of the true teazle is composed of incorporated flowers, each separated by a long ridgy chaffy substance, the terminating point of which is furnished with a fine hook. Many of these heads are fixed in a frame; and with these the surface of the cloth is teazed or brushed, until all the ends are drawn out, the loose parts combed off, and the cloth yields no impediment to the free passage of the wheel or frame of teazles.
Should the hook of the chaff, when in use, become fixed in a knot, or find sufficient resistance, it breaks, without injuring or contending with the cloth; and care is taken, by successive applications, to draw the impediment out; but all mechanical inventions hitherto made use of, offer resistance to the knot; and, instead of yielding and breaking, as the teazle does, resist and tear it out, making a hole, or injuring the surface. The dressing of a piece of cloth consumes from 1500 to 2000 heads, when the work is completely finished: they are used repeatedly in different stages of the process.