The separation of lint from seed is accomplished in various ways.
At no very remote date it was the practice in Scotland for every small farmer and cotter not only to grow " lint " or flax in small patches, but to have it retted, scutched, cleaned, spun, woven, bleached and finished entirely within the limits of his own premises, and all by members or dependents of the family.
In the Macarthy roller gin, the lint, drawn by a roller covered with leather (preferably walrus hide), is drawn between a metal plate called the " doctor " (fixed tangentially to the roller and very close to it) and a blade called the " beater " or knife, which rapidly moves up and down immediately behind, and parallel to, the fixed plate.
Bamia, yielding a brown lint, very similar.
It consists essentially of a series of circular notched disks, the so-called saws, revolving between the interstices of an iron bed upon which the cotton is placed: the teeth of the " saws " catch the lint and pull it off from the seeds, then a revolving brush removes the detached lint from the saws, and creates sufficient draught to carry the lint out of the machine to some distance.