From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Noil \Noil\, n. [Prob. fr. Prov. E. oil, ile, ail, a beard of
   grain (OE. eil, AS. egl) combined with the indef. article, an
   oil becoming a noil.]
   A short or waste piece or knot of wool separated from the
   longer staple by combing; also, a similar piece or shred of
   waste silk.
   [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
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