Aficot hand made. Delicious Pink Ivory wood from South Africa. Extremely hard and takes a glass like polish. Condition is New. Approximately 4” in length. Stylized pink flamingo with abalone eyes and a brass lined lanyard hole for a tassel perhaps. As this is a handmade item made of a natural material there may be slight differences in shape or color.
Pink Ivory is a vibrantly colored, dense and extraordinary wood, considered by many to be one of the rarest woods in the World. Possession of the wood was once punishable by death if you were not a Zulu king. Looking more like scrub than a traditional tree, tree heights generally range from 20-35 feet tall with diameters of 6" up to 12". Because of its size, the yield is small, adding to the rarity of this species. After sawing and drying, a large board that is free of defects might be as large as 24” long x 2-4” wide x 1” thick. Pink ivory is found scattered along the southeastern African plains. Only the heart wood produces the stunning watermelon pinkish-red color.
For those viewing this listing who don’t know what an aficot is, see below.
The aficot is a tool that descends from the lobster claw. In lace making, particularly in Alençon lace, the lobster claw was used in two ways: 1. to polish raised threads, and 2. to smooth down areas of tape or fabric between lines of stitching, to make the stitching stand out better. The aficot replaces the lobster claw. It can be made of material other than wood – for example, there are references in lace-making books to aficots made of steel – but the wooden aficot is more common. The aficot fits right in your hand, and you can hold it comfortably just like this. I normally use it with my right hand, but you can hold it in either.
If you get a good one, it will probably the most comfortable tool you’ll ever hold, because it just fits right into the palm of your hand perfectly and your thumb sits easily on the curve where the tool moves to a flat tip.
The key to a good aficot is that it must, absolutely, no matter what, be perfectly smooth. If it has any abrasiveness to it – any splintery area, any ridge from a molding (if it’s steel or any other material) – it will not do what it is intended to do, and in fact, it’ll do just the opposite. My aficots are polished to 24,000 grit and are glass smooth.
So, how do you use it? Embroiderers use that flat, smooth, slightly curved tip to burnish or polish threads, especially raised satin stitching.