I want to experiment with dryer lint[1]; things like blending it into paper pulp to add tiny colored fibers (or making paper just from the lint), and seeing if it might add strength to plaster, cement, or DIY air dry clay. So I need to turn the mats of lint back into individual fibers.

I couldn't figure out a way to break it up dry (putting it in a blender dry doesn't work). It doesn't break up when I try agitating it in water by hand. With water in a blender, the lint just wraps itself around the blades.

Does anyone know of a way to turn the mat of lint back into loose fibers? It can be a dry process, or the fibers can end up suspended in water.

[1] See Wikipedia: Lint (material), and the picture on that page.

  • I am not a native English speaker, so the use of the word "lint" in your question does not make much sense. Can you post a picture of that mat? I am familiar with lint in belly buttons, on the surface of clothes and in dust bunnies. That is why I cannot imagine a "mat of lint" which is difficult to transform back into fibers. And it would make even less sense if I think about the computer software named "lint". :)
    – virolino
    Feb 27 at 9:38
  • 1
    @virolino, a picture would have to wait until the next laundry day. But I'm referring to the fiber bits that come off fabrics in the laundry and get collected on a screen in the dryer exhaust. It builds into a mat of fibers.
    – Dolly
    Feb 27 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


I think what you need to do is carding the lint.

Carding is a process used in spinning fibers like cotton or wool and it disentangles the fibers and arranges them (mostly) in one direction.

old lady hand carding wool (Image source)

You may notice that the traditional hand carders have a striking similarity to some dog grooming tools, so this may be a cheap way to try it:
dog grooming brush (Source: Amazon)

Here's a tutorial for hand-carding wool. You need 2 carders, put the lint on one of them and pull it apart by moving both carders in opposite directions while interlocking their barbs.

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