One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A slub or lump in wool or cloth.
- ‘The worker depresses a pedal to start a machine that moves fabric over an inspection board, and scans and feels fabric for defects, such as burls, slubs, loose threads, mispicks, defective pile or soils.’
- ‘Presumably it was the plank on which the tucker laid the piece of cloth so that it could be inspected carefully and the burls or knots removed.’
- ‘Then the said third weft yarn preferably becomes a weft yarn situated between the successive pile burls, a number of advantages of which were mentioned.’
- 1.1North American A rounded knotty growth on a tree, used especially in handcrafted objects and veneers.‘she used warty burls to construct her pieces’mass noun ‘wooden coin banks made of elm burl’as modifier ‘a burl bowl’
- ‘Illustrated in the book are other articles made in the Dominy shop for family use, such as a wooden bowl made of a burl from an apple tree and a swift to wind wool yarn.’
- ‘The interior boasts nickel trim, American-walnut burl, premium leather and white instrument lighting - just like you'll find in the Navigator.’
- ‘Bumpy, soccer-ball-sized burls punctuate one side; elsewhere it's crisscrossed with deep fissures that create bold basketweave patterns.’
- ‘Cockpit controls are now logical and intuitive - and still swathed in buttery leather and glossy walnut burl.’
- ‘Veneers cut from burls also display the fascinating figure.’
- ‘About 1800 some painters also began to try to emulate more stylish formal pieces by mimicking fine wood or burl gaining.’
- ‘Our customers seem to like rare woods, like walnut burl, as well.’
- ‘A similar item made from a burl was featured in a previous issue of The Chronicle.’
- ‘The traditional look of walnut and the exotic look of burls have found a place in Framerica's line.’
- ‘The two Steves negotiated to get the burl to Ashland, and then Steve Sharps and his sons moved it to the current site, debarked it, and protected it with tung oil.’
- ‘Designers are showing us flames in exotic woods like ebony or interesting burls with more complex finishes and more sculptural shapes.’
- ‘Heron, new carving set laid out, was making his first tentative passes at a small burl he had found on the beach, thinking that it appeared to him like a gull settling its wings after it had landed.’
- ‘One piece of wood may be a very simple object, yet another piece may be entirely different and very complex, especially around a burl or knot.’
- ‘The focus of this article is not, however, the burls on the porch post, but the building itself.’
- ‘Painstakingly made of molded leather subtly colored with many layers of thin acrylic glazes, they have patinas that suggest burl, bronze, marble, ceramic, cloth or even flesh.’
- ‘Tucked away in the forest, and only accessible to those with local knowledge, its old contorted paperbark trees exhibited gnarly branches, trunks and burls.’
- ‘If you absolutely must take home some burl art - woody outgrowths of dormant redwood tissue sold as furniture or woodenware - try one of these redwood galleries.’
- ‘This occurs when woody structures, known as burls grow down from underneath large branches.’
- ‘A large burl, from a logging block that Hayes was harvesting, has been carved by Huu-ay-aht First Nation members, and serves as a second seating area.’
- ‘Even the bark is impressive, with furrows 6 inches deep and a burl 5 feet across.’
Late Middle English: from Old French bourle ‘tuft of wool’, diminutive of bourre ‘coarse wool’, from late Latin burra ‘wool’.
An attempt.‘we'll give it a burl’
- ‘This is their first chance to get up on stage and give their comedy acts a burl and they're all keen, confident and quietly scared to death.’
- ‘So I gave it a burl, and ever since I've not been able to watch an episode without imitating Moran's manic nature for the following two days.’
- ‘Short summary: cool, intriguing, not just a horror/slasher flick - give it a burl.’
Early 20th century: regional usage of birl.
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