Thursday, February 01, 2007

Worlds Collide

Last week, I was listening to a scientist from the UK talk about how his company manufactures one of their wound dressing products. It’s kind of a fibrous dressing that ends up sort of matted. The fibre is a derivative of a natural plant fibre, similar to cotton or paper. Anyway, the thing that’s kind of fun is that they spin the fibre and then, essentially, needle felt it to form the wound dressing fabric. The guy was talking about drum carders and spinners, and pronged needles. All the stuff I’ve been learning about over these past few months but with regard to animal fibres (sheep in particular). They’ve even tried making a roving out of this cellulose (roving is the stuff I used to line the insides of Gramps’ mitts) to use as wound packing material.

It’s amazing to me how after hundreds of years of manufacturing expertise, the method for producing fabric like this – for one of the world’s most advanced wound dressings – is essentially the same technique that’s been used since the middle ages.

All of this on the same order of ‘cool’ as getting a tour of the DuPont plant in Kingston. Science is fun!

Talk to you soon,


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