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catspjamas
10-03-2006, 10:24 PM
I've heard and read alot of reference to making lint, even found an oil painting entitled "Making Lint", but I have found no references on how to make lint. The best I have found is take soft cloth and scrape it with a blade. What type of cloth? I assume cotton, but linen or wool maybe? Can it be any color? What type of blade? Straight razor, kitchen knife, hunting knife? Then what do you do with it after you have it? Enquiring minds want to know. Thanks!

Cats

Army30th
10-03-2006, 11:31 PM
Making Lint refers to the making of bandages for wounds. Sir Walter Scott mentions "made lint for our soldier's wounds", from Peveril of the Peak, which he wrote in 1822. The painting you refer to shows this activity by taking cotton bolls, pulling them apart, and then knitting them into bandages.

James Marten's book "Children for the Union" mentions that 'children left school to replace absent men on farms and in factories, helped raise funds for hospitals and other soldiers' causes, and volunteered to knit socks, PICK LINT, and perform other necessary duties.' This would lead one to believe that "lint" was name interchangable with cotton.

However antonym.com shows "lint" as being cotton or linen fabric with the nap raised on one side. And still yet the song "Picking Lint" describes pulling lint off of old clothing and bundling it together to make wound dressings.

And here's the kicker: Johnson & Johnson would begin manufacture and sale of the first sterile bandages 20 years after the war was over.

Hope this helps you some.

NoahBriggs
10-04-2006, 05:17 AM
there are two types -

The first is lint - the stuff scraped off of white cotton cloth.

the second is charpie (pronounced SHAR-pee) which is a lot of thread pulled from white cotton cloth, and bundled into clumps about two inches long. It was used under the red felt which was placed over a surgical wound, then a regular roller bandage was applied and held in place with a brass, straight pin. It absorbed some of the discharge of the wound.

Charpie is easier made when you are ripping cloth for bandages and rolling them. Loose threads abound and they can be collected and trimmed into charpie, and tied into bundles.

Go to www.vintagevolumes.com, click on "Virginia's Verenda" and read the article on the difference between lint and charpie. It's in the Archive section under "Lint and Charpie - It's not just dryer Lint."

vmescher
10-04-2006, 08:35 AM
Making Lint refers to the making of bandages for wounds. Sir Walter Scott mentions "made lint for our soldier's wounds", from Peveril of the Peak, which he wrote in 1822. The painting you refer to shows this activity by taking cotton bolls, pulling them apart, and then knitting them into bandages.




I had mentioned this painting in my article. It is "Making Lint" by the Hungarian artist Mihály Munkácsy (painted in 1871). I could find people pulling the cotton apart but since this painting was done in Hungary would they have had cotton bolls to de-seed and pull apart. If the cotton had been ginned, the bolls would not have been intact. If anything it may show the making of charpie (strands of threads that were gathered into bundles). The cotton being processed in the painting probably would not have been what was being knitted. After pulling the cotton apart, it would need to have been spun into yarn/thread and plied and then could have been knitted into bandages. Since knitting was a common pastime, I expect that the woman knitting was just knitting on something else.

Also, maybe someone can help me. I've been looking for a pre-1865 source or reference to knitted bandages and hopefully a pattern. If anyone can help me out I would appreciate it.

GeorgeWunderlich
10-04-2006, 08:50 AM
We have several large balls of charpie in our collection. It looks like a ball of string from a kite that got away or a "birds nest" of fishing line after a large fish got away. The thread is of fairly large diameter, larger than sewing thread, and seems nearly he same size as the cotton thread used in modern denim pants (for reference). It is in a disorganized wad but the threads are all of fairly short length so as to allow the wad to be pulled apart.

One wad cam from a hospital knapsack. The second came from a medicine box.


We also have lint but I can not describe it as it is wrapped in white cloth with "1864" stamped on it. The package is pinned together and looks like a pillow about 4"x5"x3". The pins are straight pins and simply hold the four points of the cloth together in the center of the back of the "pillow". These came from a kit and we do not want to take them apart. If this is the packing method early in the war I am not sure.

George Wunderlich

NoahBriggs
10-04-2006, 09:59 AM
George - do you think your museum could sneak some pictures, if the procedure does not damage the artifacts?

Respectfully,

GeorgeWunderlich
10-04-2006, 10:06 AM
I will try and get a photo Thursday.


George Wunderlich

Catherine Kelly
10-04-2006, 10:25 AM
for scraping lint I have read that it is easier to use new fabric rather than old. as old fabric being thin and soft has already given up most if its lose or shorter fibers to make the lint.

any cotton or wool will produce lint but I would choose cotton for better for absorbancy. Linen I have not heard or read how it would work or if it was used.

to do:
simply take a piece of fabric about 4" X6" little larger little smaller.. will work tack it at four corners to a flat board and scrape with a high carbon steel knife such as a period kitchen knife works very well. and will produce lint in short order.

when doing this with school children I have used flannel because it produces lint more quickly.

hope this helps,
Catherine

vmescher
10-04-2006, 10:45 AM
for scraping lint I have read that it is easier to use new fabric rather than old. as old fabric being thin and soft has already given up most if its lose or shorter fibers to make the lint.

any cotton or wool will produce lint but I would choose cotton for better for absorbancy. Linen I have not heard or read how it would work or if it was used.

to do:
simply take a piece of fabric about 4" X6" little larger little smaller.. will work tack it at four corners to a flat board and scrape with a high carbon steel knife such as a period kitchen knife works very well. and will produce lint in short order.

Catherine

There are many primary source quote on what lint and charpie was made of (linen and cotton) both from old and new garments and house linen. Also, included in the article were alternate ways that women discovered to make lint that were easier than scraping. There is an illustration of how lint was scraped with a knife.

I did not run into any mention of wool being used for lint or charpie. It would have been irritating to the wound.