Make use of the useless: Dryer lint

Bruce Watson

When I was a little kid, I used to love dryer lint. My mother wasn't too careful about cleaning out the lint trap; when she finally did, the layer of lint would be an inch thick. I loved deciphering the lint, seeing the streaks of colored fabric that made up the pile. Red, green, white, black...I imagined myself as a sort of lint archaeologist, excavating the layers of washing.

Clearly, I had way too much imagination, not to mention free time.

The thing of it is, though, that after I exhausted the archaeological potential of lint, there really wasn't much else to do with the stuff. It was kind of grubby, too fragile to use as fabric, and made a big mess when you played with it. By the age of eight or so, I had turned my back on lint, never to return.

Or so I thought.