29 October 2021

What is the English word for this tool?

After the “last” post of the cobbler from India, this is yet another tool that I remembered from early childhood in India. Before winter, these folks would come with this tool that can be best described to look somewhat like a big safety pin – made mostly of wood except it had a thick string on one side. And the guy would have a wooden thing in his other hand that looked like a dumbbell that he would hit the string with. This whole contraption was used to fluff up the cotton that would have invariably flattened out in the mattresses and quilts after many years of use.

People who grew up in India will definitely remember this. Did any other country use a similar looking tool?

In any case, do you know what is the English word for it? After a lot of research, I am still struggling. I have found at least what the guys who are in this profession are called. Want to take a guess?

Posted October 29, 2021 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Surya on

    Definitely remember this. I know the Telugu words for the machine as well as the operator. In English, I think it is called a cotton gin (not the drink, but the hand operated ginning machine đŸ™‚ , used for removing seeds and also make the used,hardened cotton fluffy).

  2. By Rajib Roy (Post author) on

    I think ginning is used to separate the seeds as you mentioned. This process is called “Carding”. And the person is called Cotton Carder.

  3. By Surya on

    oh ok. I was under the impression that carding turns the cotton fibres into a sliver (a fluffy rope like). Btw, Wiki shows this image under carding!!


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