Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Fuller’s teasel

1. My aunt once told me that teasels were used for carding wool in the old days [Childwall, Liverpool, May 2013].

2. During my childhood [b. 1922] they used to grow teasels near Ilton [Somerset]. Some schoolboys were employed to harvest these during the summer holidays. They were paid 5 shillings a week for 5 weeks [Thorncombe, Dorset, November 1982. 5 shillings a week in the late 1920s and early 1930s seems over generous pay for schoolboys; when recalling this again in July 2013 the contributor stated that the boys, aged 13, were paid 5 shillings for a month’s work; ‘there were one or two fields where they always grew teasels around Ilton’].

Images: main Eugene Zelenko, Wiki Commons; inset, reconstructed¬† Clothworkers’ Guild banner, depicting ‘the teasel or fuller’s thistle [which] was used to raise the nap on the cloth’, prepared for the 1909 York Pageant, ‘a dramatic representation of the city’s history’ from B.C. 800, in the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York,¬† May 2017.