Teasel. The vast woollen-clothing fabric materially depends on the fuller's teasel, which is found in hedges and wild sterile spots, and is cultivated to a large extent in the stiff clay lands of Gloucestershire and Somersetshire, of Wiltshire and Essex. This plant, with the Dutch rush, or shave-grass, of which the stems have long been imported from Holland to polish cabinetwork, ivory, plaster-casts, and even b ass, are the only known instances of natural productions being applied to mechanical purposes. - The teasel is alone available to raise the nap from woollen cloths, and for this purpose the heads are fixed round the circumference of a large broad wheel, which is made to turn in contact with the cloth ; if a knot, or roughness, or projection, catch the hooks, they break immediately, without injury; but any mechanical invention, instead of yielding, tears them out, and materially injures the surface. Teasel crops require both labour and close attention, and are precarious in their returns; they suffer considerally from dripping seasons, and therefore cultivators who have heavy rents to pay seldom raise them. They consequently become the care of the more considerable cottagers; and as the members of a family unite in attending to them, they are frequently a source of considerable profit. Travellers who pass through districts where this plant is cultivated, relate that the teasel harvest is one of considerable interest. Some way-side cottage, with its garden and apple orchard, where also a small plot of ground is covered with teasels, presents a cheerful and animated scene when the labourer and his wife are busily employed in cutting the prickly heads from their tall angular stems with teasel-knives affixed to poles, and their children are seen joyfully running in all haste to place them in the sunbeams. The terminating heads, which ripen first, are called kings ; they are large and coarse, and are adapted only for the strongest kind of cloth. The collateral heads then succeed, known by the name of middlings, and are used for the finest purposes. When dry, the older children pick and sort them into bundles - ten thousand of the best and smallest make a middling pack - nine thousand of the larger, the pack of kings. This valuable plant is known in almost every country throughout Europe by a name expressive of its use. Gerard tells us that its old English name was the carding teasel. The French call it cardon defoullon; the Danes and Swedes, carde tidsel; the Spaniards and Portuguese, cardo and car-dencha; the Hollanders, caarden ; and the Flemings, carden distel.

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