Such goods as beavers, kerseys, meltons, and fancy cassimeres are seldom fulled more than one-sixth of their woven width, while worsted goods are shrunk but a small fraction of their woven width. The amount of fulling received is the distinguishing feature of many varieties of cloth. In the treatment of broadcloth, doeskin, and all nap finished woolens, the fulling is carried to a point where the fibers become densely matted, obliterating all traces of the weave and giving the cloth the appearance of felt.
Crabbing. After the cloth has been dried in the hydro extractor, where it throws off superfluous moisture, it must be stretched full width for the future finishing processes, and "set" at this width.
Crabbing consists of two operations, first the loosening process, then the setting process. Goods are run on a cylinder, then passed over several rolls, and are kept tight so as to avoid wrinkles. The cylinders are immersed in hot water and the goods are allowed to rotate in this water for about twenty minutes, after which they are taken out for one or two hours. They are then returned to the machine for about twenty-five minutes and are subjected to boiling and also to additional pressure. The boiling water sets the fabric and the additional pressure gives the desired finish.
Tentering. The object of tentering is to straighten and level the fabric. After the cloth leaves the tentering machine it has lost its natural moisture, and is not at all fitted, as far as fiber condition is concerned, for the napping. To bring it into a fit state for this operation it is passed through a trough containing a brush which gives it the desired moisture. It is then ready for napping.
Napping. Most cloths at this stage of finishing are more or less unsightly on account of long and irregular fibers on the surface. A nap may be raised on the surface of a fabric for various reasons: in order to render the material warmer, softer, or more pleasant to the touch, as in the case of blankets and flannels intended to be worn next to the body; or for the purposes of increasing the durability of the fabric, as in the case of melton, kersey, broadcloth, and similar goods; or a nap may be raised with a view to removing all the fiber from the underlying structure in order to leave the pattern of the cloth well defined and free from hairiness. The covering of nap over the surface of the fabric tends to conceal many defects caused by imperfect yarns and faulty weaving. Coarse, inferior yarns at best produce an unsightly fabric, but when the cloth constructed of such threads is finished with a fine, delicate nap the surface takes on a softer and richer appearance. Not only are the defects in the structure concealed, but the material is rendered more sightly and desirable and appears to be more expensive than it really is.
The operation of napping is performed by passing the cloth in a tightly stretched condition over a revolving cylinder covered with teasels or steel hooks. These thousands of little hooks scratch the entire surface of the cloth, opening up the short fibers and covering the whole with a nap. Since the fibers are of different lengths it is necessary to brush the fabric vigorously and then pass it through the shearing machine in order to make an even and uniform length. The shearing machine acts on the principle of the lawn mower and either cuts the nap completely or leaves a pile surface. The cloth is cleaned by passing through a brushing machine.
Pressing Machine. The fabric now requires consolidating and lustering, or "smarting up" in appearance—practically pressing—before it is forwarded to the warehouse. This is done by passing the cloth over a pressing roll heated to a high temperature. Having obtained a satisfactory luster, it is necessary to fix this by winding the cloth on rollers and allowing dry steam to pass through the piece. This fixes a permanent luster and finish on the piece and sets it so as to prevent shrinkage. The cloth is now packed and sent to the jobbers or tailors to be cut up into suits.
Theories of Coloring in Textile Design. The three primary elements of textile design are weave, combination of form, and blend of colors. They enter either separately or in connection with each other into every species of loom effect. Weave relates specifically to the build or structure of the cloth and is an indispensable factor in any type of cloth. Schemes of weaves will produce in one operation an even and firm cloth, decorated with a type of pattern that usually consists of minute parts but which is pronounced and decided in combination. Combination of forms is a surface decoration obtained by uniting straight and curved lines. Color brightens and improves the qualities of the design. In fact, the discarding of color shades would diminish the elegance of the design and impoverish its appearance and would practically destroy the woolen industry. Whether the pattern be stripe, check, figure, or intermingled effect, it obtains its outline and detail from methods of coloring adopted. In worsted there is a larger diversity of weave design than in woolen; but still colors are very extensively employed to develop effects due to weave and form, and also to impart a cheerful and lustrous appearance to cloth.
Patterns in dress fabrics, shirtings, and other articles made entirely of cotton are frequently mere combinations of fancy shades, while fabrics composed of silk and jute materials, including silk ties, handkerchiefs, etc.—in fact the cloths in which fancy shades are used—show that coloring and its combinations in all woven product embellished with design, are elements which give tone and character to the styles. Though the cloth may be soft to the touch, substantially made, of uniform structure, and skilfully finished, yet a lack of brightness and elegance in coloring so powerfully detracts from the appearance of the pattern that these qualities alone are not sufficient.
On subjecting cotton, silk, wool, and worsted goods to inspection, color is found to have a different tone or cast in each fabric. Fancy colors in cotton, while decidedly firm and clear in effect, are non-lustrous, raw, and dull in toning. Silk colorings, on the contrary, possess both compactness and brilliancy; woolen colorings have a unique depth and saturation of hue characteristic of the material employed in the manufacture of woolen goods; while worsted colorings are bright, definite, and smart in appearance.
These differences are due to the physical properties of the several fibers. Thus a filament of silk is transparent and shines like smooth glass when light falls upon it; that of wool is solid and opaque in the center, but its exterior consists of a multitude of semi-transparent scales which, when of large dimensions and uniformly arranged—as in the best qualities of wool—reflect light with a small amount of dispersion and impart to the woven material a lustrous aspect. Cotton has no such partially transparent sheath. What light is reflected is so broken up that the color is poor. Compare three plain woven crimson textures made of silk, wool, and cotton respectively. The first literally shines; luster, brilliance, and richness are the elements of its coloring. Though bright, it lacks that fulness and depth of color which belongs to the wool product, whose millions of filaments, closely compounded, all tinted alike, possess a peculiar bloom and weight of color not to be found either in the silk or cotton article. Lastly, take the crimson calico. How deficient in warmth and richness it seems to be, after examining the woolen and silk texture! It is dull and has a raw and deficient character.
The various methods of employing fancy shades in patterns obtained in the loom may be briefly summarized:
I. In mixture cloths, for suitings, coatings, etc.
a. By combining or blending various colors of materials.
b. By combining several classes of twist threads.
II. In plain, twilled, mat, and fancy weave designs for trouserings, coatings, suitings, jackets, dresses, costumes, flannels, shirtings, etc.
a. By introducing colors into the warp, forming stripes.
b. By introducing colors into the filling, producing spotted patterns.
c. By introducing colors into both warp and filling, giving checks, broken styles, etc.
III. In figured designs for dresses, vestings, etc.
a. By using one or several series of extra warp yarn.
b. By using one or several series of extra filling.
Dress goods fall naturally into two distinct classes when regarded from the standpoint of fashion—staples and fancies. Staples are those fabrics which are made of the same construction year in and year out. They vary only in coloring to meet the changes of fashion.
The Staples are:
Brilliantines, Sicilians, Mohairs, Imperial Serges, Storm Serge, Cheviots, Panamas, Batistes, Taffetas, Voile, Nun's Veiling, Cashmere, Shepherd Checks.
The Fancies are:
Produced through Variation of weave, Variation of color, Variation of color and weave: Brocades, Cuspettes, Meliores, Hopsacking, etc. Coloring includes: Stripes, Checks, Plaids, Malenges, Mixtures.
Prior to the factory era our fathers and mothers made homespun clothes and wore them till they had passed their period of usefulness. The average consumption of wool at that time averaged not more than three pounds per capita. As wealth increased the home loom and spinning-wheel were slowly supplanted by the mill and factory. The different textile manufacturers at length found that competition was so keen that it was necessary to adulterate, particularly any fabric that was popular. The classes of goods that are most adulterated are the expensive fabrics, those of wool and silk. There are such changes of fashion in dress at the present day that garments composed of materials formerly considered good enough are often thrown aside as old-fashioned when only half worn. Manufacturers cater to the whims and fancies of people and import to this country foreign styles. The rapidly changing styles cause people to throw upon the market a great amount of cast-off clothing only partially worn.
The result is that there is not wool enough to provide the public with clothing made of new wool. The requirement per capita has risen to six pounds. The immense amount of fiber in cast-off clothing does not find its way into the paper mills, but rather into the shoddy mill, where it is remanufactured into cloth again, or where part of the fiber is mixed with good wool to make "pure wool" cloth. In other words, the rapidly changing styles of to-day and the limited supply of wool are responsible for the wholesale adulteration which is being practised in modern cloth manufacture. This adulteration furthermore is becoming more and more difficult to detect by reason of the rapid improvements made in the finishing processes of cloth manufacture. Hence the necessity for people to know how and why adulteration occurs, how it affects prices, and what are the means of detecting it. Shoddy is considered a legitimate adulteration in woolen and worsted goods. The following adulterations are not legitimate unless sold as such:
1. Cotton combed with wool.
2. Thin cotton threads twisted in with worsted during the process of drawing.
3. Cotton threads of the same color as the wool or worsted used as filling or warp.
4. Cotton veneered with wool.
5. Cotton threads of the same color as wool used in weaving.
 Tentering is carried on in the English mills.
WOOLEN AND WORSTED FABRICS
Albatross. A dress fabric of worsted warp and worsted filling; of open texture and fancy weaves.
Alpaca. A thin fabric of close texture made from the fibers of an animal of the llama species; mixed with silk or with cotton. It is usually woven with cotton warp and mohair filling. Imitations of all cotton are manufactured and sold under this name.
Corded Alpaca. Corded weave, lengthwise of the piece, cotton warp alpaca filling; one of the first products of the American loom.
Angora. The fiber of this goat is commercially known as mohair. The skins are largely used in the making of children's muffs, for the scalps of dolls, and for trimming coats and capes. Carriage robes also claim a good share of the skins; the hair, being nearly one foot in length, makes them beautiful and serviceable. The fiber enters largely into that class of goods known as Astrakhan, Crepons, Plushes, Brilliantines, Zibelines, fine Cashmeres, and many other fabrics usually sold as all wool or worsted, according to the mode of preparing the stock before spinning into yarn. It is found in the finest of silk and worsted fabrics for ladies' wear, also in linings, mittens, and fine cloaking and overcoating. It is noted especially for its water repelling qualities, its beauty, and high luster; and not so much for its warmth-retaining properties, for which wool stands unequalled.
Astrakhan. A fabric manufactured from Astrakhan fiber; of a curly, wavy surface applied to a curly faced cloth resembling Astrakhan fleece.
Bandanna. From the Indian bandanna, to bind or tie. In dyeing, the cloth is tied in knots when dipped, and thus has a clouded effect.
Beaver. A heavy cloth manufactured of fine wool, with a finish on the surface to resemble the fur of the animal by that name.
Fur Beaver. Similar in many respects to Beaver, but having on its surface a long, dense nap, in imitation of the fur of the Beaver. Used for overcoats, cloaks, and capes.
Bedford Cord. A fine woolen fabric, with fine recesses running with the piece, and extensively used for ladies' dress goods. An all wool cloth of close texture for gentlemen's clothing. The recesses may also be made with fine cotton yarn hidden in the wool filling.
Beige. Cloth of undyed or natural wool. The name is the French word for "natural."
Bindings. A species of narrow fabric of silk, worsted or cotton, for binding the edges of garments, the bottom of dress skirts, etc.
Bombazine. A twilled fabric of which the warp is silk and the filling is worsted.
Bottany. A term applied to worsted yarns made from bottany wool. It is considered the finest of all worsted yarns, and is used for fine fabrics of close texture.
Boucle. Curled hair or wool woven in any cloth in such a way as to show the curl makes boucle. The word is French for curl.
Broadcloth. Broadcloth is a soft, closely woven material with a satin finish. The best qualities are called satin broadcloth.
The origin of broadcloth dates back to early times, the first historical mention of it being made in 1641. In America, among the first products manufactured by the colonial woolen mills were black and colored broadcloths, and these (with satinets) formed the distinctive character of American woolen fabrics at that time. They were honestly made of pure, fine-fibered Saxony wool, and sold as high as $6.50 per yard.
The warp and filling are made of carded wool so that the web (cloth) will shrink or full evenly. The stock is generally dyed in the raw state when used for men's wear. When taken from the loom it does not have the smooth, lustrous appearance which is its distinctive feature. It is rough and dull colored, with the threads showing plainly. To improve its appearance it is first subjected to the action of the fulling mill, with the result that the fibers of the warp and weft become entangled to such an extent that the cloth never unravels. Then the cloth is slightly napped and sheared down close, in order to produce a smooth, even surface. Next it is successively wetted, steamed, calendered, and hot pressed for the purpose of bringing out the luster. It is commonly twill woven, but is sometimes plain, finished with a slightly napped and lustrous face. It must have a bright, beaver finish, and be close and felty in the weave.
The broadcloth used for women's clothing is of a lighter weight and is generally piece dyed. It is used for ladies' suits, coats, and gentlemen's evening dress suits, frock coats, and tuxedos. It is expensive; prices range from $1.75 to $3.50 per yard in ladies' broadcloth, and higher for men. The price depends on the quality of wool used, and uniformity of the nap and perfection of the finish.
Bunting. A plain even thread weave of mohair, wool, or worsted, used mostly for making flags. The name is from German, bunt, meaning variegated or gay colored.
Caniche. A name given to curled wool fabric showing the effect of the coat of the caniche, a French dog.
Cashmere. A cloth made from the hair of the Cashmere goat. The face of the fabric is twilled, the twills being uneven and irregular because of the unevenness of the yarn. Cashmere yarn was first hand spun. The goats are grown for their wool in the vale of Cashmere in the Himalaya Mountains.
All Wool Cashmere. As no material by this name exists there can be no definition. When the term is used in defining a fabric, it is a delusion and a snare.
Cashmere Double. A cloth having Cashmere twill on one side or face and poplin cord on the reverse.
Cassimere. The name is a variation of Cashmere. Cassimere, when properly made, is of Cashmere wool. Usually a twill weave.
Castor. Same as beaver, of a light weight.
Challis. (Also spelled challie.) A name given to a superior dress fabric of silk and wool first manufactured at Norwich, England, in 1832. In texture the original material was soft, thin, fine, and finished without gloss. When first introduced it ranked among the best and most elegant silk and wool textures manufactured. It was composed of fine materials, and instead of giving it a glossy surface, such as is usually produced from silk and fine wool, the object was to make it without luster. The name is now applied to an extremely light weight summer dress fabric, composed of either cotton or wool, or a mixture of these fabrics. In structure it is both plain woven and figured, the ornamental patterns being produced either in the loom or yarn, dyed or printed. It is not sized. All wool challis does not differ essentially from the old-fashioned muslin delaine. Most challis patterns are copied from the French silks, and this accounts in part for their tasteful designs and artistic effects. French challis is a material similar to the above, though usually characterized by a more glossy finish.
Cheviot. A descriptive term of somewhat loose application, being used indiscriminately of late years to denote almost any sort of stout woolen cloth finished with a rough and shaggy surface. Originally the fabric known as cheviot was woven in England, from the strong, coarse wool of the Cheviot sheep, whence the name.
It is at present a worsted or woolen fabric made of cheviot or "pulled wool," slightly felted, with a short even nap on the surface and a supple feel. Worsted cheviots, in plain colorings or of fancy effects, are manufactured from combed yarn. Woolen cheviots are made from carded yarn. The greater portion of this class of goods in carded yarns contains little or no new wool in its make-up. Shoddy, mungo, and a liberal mixture of cotton to hold it together, blended in the many colorings, help to cover the deception. Prices range from 50 cents to $3.00. The material is plain or twill woven, and has many of the qualities of serge.
The distinguishing feature of cheviot, whatever the grade of cloth, is the finish, of which there are two kinds. One is known as the "rough" finish, and the other as the "close" finish. Real cheviot is a rough-finished fabric, composed of a strong, coarse wool and fulled to a considerable degree. The process of finishing cheviot is simple, and practically the same methods are followed for both the "rough" and the "close" styles. On leaving the loom the cloth is first washed in soap and water to remove any dirt or other foreign matter it may contain. It is then fulled, which consists in shrinking the cloth both in length and breadth, thus rendering the texture heavier and denser. Next it is "gigged" or napped. This is accomplished by passing the face of the matted cloth against a cylinder covered with sharp pointed teasels which draw out the fibers from the yarn. This operation is continued until a nap more or less dense is raised over the entire surface.
From the gig the cloth is taken to the shearing machine, the revolving blades of which cut the long, irregular nap down to a uniform level. Sometimes the style of finish called for is that approaching a threadbare cassimere, and in this case great care is necessary to prevent the blades from cutting the yarn. In the rough finish the nap, although sparingly raised, is comparatively long. Having been napped and sheared, the cloth is pressed and carefully examined for defects, then brushed, pressed, and highly steamed. When measured, rolled, and steamed, it is ready for market, and is used mostly for ladies' and gentlemen's suitings. The pattern and design are light stripes and checks of small dimensions. Cheviot is a name given to many materials used for suiting.
Chinchilla. Heavy coating with rough wavy face. The name is Spanish for a fur-bearing animal of the mink species.
Chudah. Applied to billiard cloth; relates to color. Chudah is the Hindoo name of a bright green cloth.
Corduroy. Heavy corded cotton material used for servants' livery. The name is from the French Corde du Roi—king's cords.
Cote Cheval. In France corded cloth for riding costumes, such as Bedford cord, is called cote cheval, the application being through cheval, horse; cote, ribbed or lined.
Coupure. Coupure is French for cut through. Coupure or cut cashmere is a cashmere weave showing lines cut through the twills lengthwise of the piece.
Covert. Heavy twilled cloth in natural undyed shades, used in England for men's overcoats worn while riding to covert in fox hunting.
Delaine. From the French "of wool"; applies to the most primitive weave of plain wool yarn. Thirty years ago delaine was the staple dress goods stock. It was made in solid colors.
Diagonal Cheviot. Same as cheviot, only in the weaving the pattern is marked by zigzag lines or stripes.
Doeskin. Of the broadcloth range, made with shiny napped face, soft finish, as the pelt of a doe.
Drap d'Ete. A heavy cashmere or double warp merino, with the back teasled or scratched, used mostly for clergymen's clothing and in lighter weights for women's dresses. The name is French for "cloth of summer."
Empress Cloth. Similar to poplin; made of hard twisted worsted filling and cotton warp. Was made a success in the early seventies of the last century by the Empress Eugenie of France. Empress cloth was a staple in all well-regulated dress goods lines.
Epingline. A fine corded fabric of wool or silk, showing the cords woven close together and appearing as if lined with a pin point. This application is from epingle, French for pin.
Etamine. French name for bolting or sifting cloth, made of silk for sifting flour; applied to mesh or net weaves in America.
Felt. Fabric made by rolling or pressing a pulpy mass or mixture of wool into a flat mat. The name is from the process. To felt is to mix and press into shape.
Flannel. Wales appears to have been the original home of flannel, and history informs us that this was the only textile produced in that country for hundreds of years. It is constructed either of cotton or wool, or of an intermixture of these fibers, and is a coarse-threaded, loosely woven, light-weight fabric, more or less spongy and elastic, with an unfinished, lusterless surface. Generally speaking all grades of plain colored flannel are piece dyed, the soft open texture of the goods permitting the fibers to absorb the dye as readily in the web as in the yarn. Flannels are subjected to several finishing operations, such as fulling, teaseling, pressing, and stretching. Flannels do not require a great deal of fulling. All that is necessary is enough to give a degree of stability and body to the goods.
Dress Flannel. All wool fabric used chiefly for women's winter dresses; also called flannel suiting. It has a diversity of qualities, colors, and styles of finish. It is commonly put up in double fold, width from twenty-six to fifty inches.
French Flannel. A fine, soft twill, woven variety dyed in solid shades, and also printed with patterns after the manner of calico; used for morning gowns, dressing sacques, waists, etc.
Shaker Flannel. A variety of white flannel finished with considerable nap, composed of cotton warp and woolen weft.
Indigo Blue. A superior all wool grade used in the manufacture of men's suits and particularly for the uniform of members of the G. A. R.
Mackinaw. The name applied to an extra heavy blanket-like material used in cold climates by miners and lumbermen for shirts and underwear.
Navy Twilled Flannel. A heavy all wool variety commonly dyed indigo blue, commonly used in the manufacture of overshirts for out-door laborers, firemen, sailors, and miners.
Silk Warp Flannel. A high grade, pure variety of flannel woven with a silk warp and a fine woolen weft. It is a very soft, light-weight, loosely woven flannel and runs only in narrow widths, twenty-seven inches. If the finishing process is carried beyond fulling the texture is rendered hard and firm, the cloth thus losing its softness and elasticity. In the teaseling process it is necessary for the nap to be raised only slightly, and this is commonly done in the direction of the grain or twist of the warp. The perfection of a flannel finish lies not in the smooth appearance of the cloth, but in its full, rich softness. Sometimes the nap is sheared, but more often it is pressed down flat upon the face of the cloth. After a thorough drying, and careful examination for defects, the goods are rolled on boards, and are ready for market. It is used for infants' wear and shawls, for undergarments, bed coverings, and also to some extent for outer garments in weights and styles adapted for that purpose.
Baby Flannel. A very light-weight variety woven of fine, soft wool, smooth finish, bleached pure white.
Florentine. A heavy twilled mohair fabric for men's wear which is sold largely to Italy and Spain. The name is from Florence, Italy.
Foule. A twilled, unsheared cloth; that is, the face appears to be unsinged, and shows the woolly roughness in a slight degree. The cloth when woven in the gray is fulled or shrunken in width by soaking in soapsuds and passing it while wet through holes of different sizes in a steel plate. The name is from fouler, French, to full or shrink.
Frieze. Frieze is a coarse, heavy cloth with a curly surface and made at first of lamb's wool. It is now made from coarse grades of wool. It is thick and heavily napped, and is used in the manufacture of warm outer garments, particularly for men's wear. It was named after the people of Friesland in Holland in the 13th century, and is famous to-day as an Irish fabric. Irish frieze has extraordinary durability, and the fibers are the longest and strongest made. The weave is plain, small twill, or herring bone. When not of a solid color it is usually a mixture, the colors being mixed in the raw state. The wool is dyed in the raw state in mass, then doubled after spinning.
Gloria. Plain weave of silk and wool, and silk and cotton; first made for umbrella covering. Name means bright.
Granada. Popular weave of mohair, made in coating weight for Spanish trade. Granada is a city in Spain.
Grenadine. Originally a plain, openwork, net-like fabric of silk, mohair, cotton, or wool. We have grenadines in Jacquards and in set patterns. The name is an adaptation of Granada.
Henrietta Cloth. A twilled cashmere of light weight and high finish, originally made with silk warp and wool filling in Yorkshire, England. The name was given in honor of Henrietta Maria of England, Queen of Charles I. The silk warp, hand-woven fabric was first produced about the year 1660.
Homespun. A rough, loosely woven material made from coarse yarn. It is soft but rather clumsy. A general term used to designate cloth spun or wrought at home. The homespun of the present day is a woolen fabric in imitation of those fabrics made by hand before the introduction of textile machinery. It is made of a coarse, rough, and uneven thread; usually of plain weave and no felting. It was woven by the early settlers of the Eastern and Southern States. It is now used as woolen suiting for men's wear and in various kinds of coarse, spongy, shaggy cloth for women's gowns.
Hop Sacking. A coarse bagging made commonly of a combination of hemp and jute, used for holding hops during transportation. The name hop sacking is also applied to a variety of woolen dress goods made from different classes of yarn. It is made of carded woolen fabric of the plainest kind. The cloth is characterized by an open weave, and a square check-like mesh, the structure being designed to imitate that of the coarse jute bagging. It has very little finish, is usually dyed in solid colors, and is used for women's and children's dresses.
Jeans. Cotton or woolen coarse twilled fabric. In cotton used for linings, in wool for men's cheap clothing. The name is from a Genoese coin, relating to the price of the cloth; so much for one jean.
Kersey. A very heavy, felted, satin finish woolen cloth made with the cotton weave or cross twill for face, and cotton weave or four harness satin for back. It was originally made with fine Merino lamb's wool for face, and somewhat coarser grade for back. The cheaper grades are manufactured from a fine-fibered wool and shoddy, with low grades of shoddy and mungo for back. It is named from an English town, Kersey, where from the eleventh to the fifteenth century a large woolen trade was carried on. The Kersey of early history was a coarse cloth, known under different names, and before knitting was used for stockings. In the construction of Kersey the cloth is woven a few inches wider in the loom (and correspondingly longer) than it is to appear in the finished state. This is done in order that the meshes may be closed up in the fulling mill to insure a covering of threads. Previous to fulling, however, the face of the cloth is gigged to produce a good covering for the threads by forming a light nap, which is fitted in. In the fulling operation, which comes next, the cloth is shrunk to its proper width and density, usually to a degree rendering it difficult to see the individual warp and filling threads, so closely are they matted together. Fulling is followed by gigging, and in this process a nap more or less heavy is raised on the face of the goods by means of teasels. The cloth is run through the gig several times and then sheared in order to render the fibers forming the nap short, even, and of uniform length. Great care is exercised in the shearing, as the nap must be cropped quite close and yet not expose the threads or cut the face. The next operation is scouring or steaming, in which live steam is forced through every part of the goods for the purpose of developing the natural luster of the wool. In case the goods are to be piece dyed, the dyeing follows scouring. After steaming, the cloth is thoroughly matted and gigged again, care being taken to avoid stirring up the ground nap. It is then dried and the nap briskly brushed in a steam brusher and laid evenly in one direction. Again the cloth is slightly steamed and primed, face up. The result of this treatment is the production of a texture firm, yet pliable, with a highly lustrous face and one not liable to wear rough or threadbare. Kersey is used for overcoats.
Kerseymere. Light weight twilled worsted; same derivative of name as Kersey.
Linsey Woolsey. Coarse cloth of linen and wool used as skirtings by the British peasantry. The name is from the components of the cloth.
Melrose. Double twilled silk and wool fabric; named for Melrose, a town on the Tweed, in Scotland.
Melton. A thick, heavy woolen fabric with short nap, feeling somewhat rough. Meltons are made firm in the loom. The weaves for single cloth meltons are usually plain, and three or four harness twill. For double cloths the plain weave is used, or a weave with a plain face and a one-third weave on the back. All trace of the weave is destroyed in the finishing. The colors usually black or dark blue.
Meltonette. A cloth of the same general appearance as melton, of light weight, for women's wear.
Merino. A fabric woven of the wool of the Merino sheep, twilled on both sides, the twill being uneven. Merino resembles cashmere.
Mohair Brilliantine. A dress fabric resembling alpaca, of superior quality, and sometimes finished on both sides. The name is from the Arabic mukayyan, cloth of goat's hair. It is made from the long, silky hair of the Angora goat of Asia Minor, a species which is being introduced into the United States. The fabric has a hard, wiry feel, and if made from the pure material has a high luster. It has cotton warp and luster worsted filling. The weave is plain ground, or with a small Jacquard figure, and when a very lustrous fabric is wanted, the warp yarn is of finer counts than the filling yarn. The warp and filling yarns are dyed previous to weaving. They may be of the same color or different colors. The contrast of colors in connection with the weave gives the fabric a pretty effect. Fabrics made with dyed yarns are usually given a dry finish, that is, simply run through the press and cylinder heated, after which they are rolled and then packed. Those made with undyed filling are first scoured, then dyed, after which they are run through a rotary press with fifty or sixty pounds of steam heat. Mohair brilliantine is used for dress goods.
Montagnac is heavy overcoating. The French montagne, for mountain, is the origin of the name, being for mountain wear.
Orleans. Cloth of cotton warp and bright wool fulling, made in Orleans, France. Many of the so-called alpacas and mohairs of to-day are Orleans. These fabrics are mostly cross-dyed, that is, fabrics with warp and filling of different shades. After weaving they are cross-dyed or redyed to give solid colors and glace effects.
Panama Cloth is a plain weave worsted fabric of no uniform construction or finish. Fabrics sold under this name vary considerably. They are of solid colors, usually piece dyed, and are used for suitings.
Prunella. From the French prunelle, which means plum, a stout worsted material named from its color, which is a purplish shade similar to that of a ripe plum. The name was originally applied to a kind of lasting of which clergymen's gowns were made. It is now used to denote a variety of rich, satin-faced worsted cloth employed for women's dresses. The fibers are worsted. Prunella is dyed either in piece or yarn state and is hand finished.
Sacking. Plain solid color flannel in special shades for women's dressing sacks, also applied to a fabric made of hemp for grain sacks.
Sanglier. A plain fabric of wiry worsted or mohair yarn, closely woven, with a rough finished surface. Sanglier is French for wild boar, the hairy, wiry cloth resembling the coat of the animal.
Sebastopol. A twill-faced cloth named from Sebastopol, the Russian fortified town captured by the English and French in 1855.
Serge. Under this name are classed a large number of fabrics of twill construction. In weight and texture a modern serge resembles flannel, except that it is twill woven and composed of fine yarn finished with a smoother surface. Serge comes from the Italian word sergea, meaning cloth of wool mixed with silk. Serges are woven of worsted, of silk, or of cotton yarn, and variously dyed, finished, and ornamented, as silk serge, serge suiting, storm serge, mohair serge, etc. Worsted serges of various kinds and degrees have been known since the twelfth century. Worsted serge appears to have come into general use as a material for men's wear in the sixteenth century. Modern serges vary but little from those made two centuries ago. They are dyed in a great variety of colors. On leaving the loom the cloth is washed and scoured with soap and water to remove the dirt and oil (if these remain the cloth will not take the dye properly). After dyeing, it is passed through a pair of metal rollers under pressure, which renders the surface more regular and even and of a better luster. This process accomplishes more than is required, for it produces a bloom on the surface which will show rain specks when in the garment, if it is allowed to remain. This is ordinary serge. In order to make storm serge it is necessary to remove part of the bloom, and to accomplish this the cloth is steamed sufficiently to neutralize the effect of pressing. Steaming deadens the bloom and prevents the effects of rain showing on the cloth. The wearing qualities of serge are good, but it gets a shine easily. It is used for dress goods and suitings. Serge suiting used for men's clothing is a variety of light, wiry, worsted yarn woven with a flat twill, and dyed black or in shades of blue, fifty-four inches in width. Mohair serge is woven with a cotton warp and a mohair filling, thirty-two inches in width. This is dyed in a variety of colors and largely used as lining material for women's clothes, men's coats, and overcoats. Storm serge, designed to withstand exposure to stormy weather, is a coarse variety of worsted dress goods produced in a wide range of colors and qualities. The twill is wider, the texture stouter, and the surface rougher and cleaner than that of ordinary serge. Iridescent serge is a variety of worsted dress goods woven with warp and filling of different colors, causing a shimmering or iridescent effect. Cravenette serge is a fine twilled variety having a firm, closely woven texture, dyed black and in colors, and is used for women's gowns, men's summer suits, etc. Serge de Barry is a high-grade dress goods of fine texture, with fine twill, and wiry feel.
Shoddy is made from old woolen stockings or rags, shredded or picked by hand or machine, to render the yarn suitable for spinning a second time, or to give a fiber that can be woven or felted with a wool or cotton warp. The name has come to mean cheap, make-believe.
Sicilian. Heavy weight cotton warp, mohair filled cloth. Sicilienne, the proper name, was made in the Island of Sicily as a heavy ribbed, all silk fabric.
Sultane. Twilled cloth of silk and wool; finished in the rough, not singed or sheared. The name is from Sultana, the first wife of the Sultan.
Tamise. Similar to etamine, with a very close mesh, made first of silk and wool. Tamis is French for sieve.
Tartans. Plaids of the Scottish clans worn by men in the Highlands of Scotland as a diagonal scarf, fastened on one shoulder and crossing the body. Each clan had a distinctive tartan or plaid. The name was adapted from the French tiretaine, a thin woolen checked cloth.
Thibet. Heavy, coarse weave of goat's hair, made by the Thibetans in Asia for men's wear.
Tricot. A heavy, compound fabric characterized by a line effect running warp way or filling way of the piece, usually produced with either woolen or worsted yarn. Tricot was originally a name given to fabrics made of woolen yarn or thread by hand knitting, and is the French word meaning knitting. The term was later applied to materials made on a knitting frame and now known as jersey cloth. Since 1840 the name tricot has been applied to finely woven woolen cloth, the weave of which is intended to imitate the face effect of a knitted fabric. The fabric is composed of woolen and worsted fibers, sometimes with cotton warp woven so as to hide the cotton in finishing. The tricot line is similar to the rib line in a ribbed cloth except that it is not so pronounced. All tricots are constructed with two sets of warp thread and are characterized by a texture which, while dense, is singularly elastic, in this respect being somewhat similar to heavy jersey cloth. Tricots are commonly dyed in plain colors, and are finished clear so as to show the filling. When intended for trousers they are ornamented with small, neat patterns.
Tweed. A rough unfinished fabric of soft, open, and flexible texture, of wool or cotton and wool, usually of yarn of two or more shades; originally the product of the weavers on the bank of the river Tweed in Scotland. The face of the cloth presents an unfinished appearance rather than a sharp and clearly defined pattern.
Veiling includes light weight, usually plain weave fabrics of various constructions; generally made with singed or polished yarns. They are in solid colors. The use is designated by the name.
Venetian. Venetian cloth has a worsted or cotton warp and worsted filling; named from Venetia, a country around Venice. The warp yarns are firmly twisted, the twist being in the opposite direction to the twist in the filling yarn. Venetian is a trade term of wide application, in use since early times as a descriptive title for various fabrics, textures, and garments. One of the many varieties is a species of twill weaving in which the lines or twills are of a rounded form and arranged in a more or less upright position, hence a closely woven worsted cloth. The name is also applied to other fabrics, as a twilled lining fabric woven with a cotton warp and a worsted filling known as Italian cloth. It is dyed in plain colors and is piece or yarn dyed for men. For women's wear it has light weight and plain colors with mixed effects and closely sheared nap. It is finished smooth so as to show the yarns prominently. Venetian cloth has not so much felting as broadcloth; it shows the weave more, but has the same lustrous finish.
Vigogne or Vicuna. A soft wool cloth of the cheviot order, with teasled face, made from the wool of the vicuna, a South American animal. Vigogne is the French name for the animal.
Vigoureux. A name applied to a plain or twill mixture, woven of undyed natural wool yarns. The French spinners found that the strongest yarns were those of the undyed wool. Sometimes two or more shades or tones are spun into one thread. The name is French for strong.
Voiles. Voiles are plain weave worsted fabrics made with hard twisted yarns. As clear a face as possible is secured in finishing, the cloth being singed or sheared closely if the yarns are not made comparatively free from loose fibers before being woven. Voiles are dyed in solid colors, and are used principally for dress goods.
Whipcord. Hard twisted worsted twills, either solid or mixed colors. The name is from the hard twisted lash of a whip.
Worsted Diagonals are characterized by prominent weave effects running diagonally across the cloth. The goods are usually of a solid color, and are given a finish which brings the weave into prominence. Diagonals are used for suitings.
Unfinished worsted is a fabric woven with yarn with very little twist in it, and finished so as to make it appear covered with loose fibers, concealing the twill effect. After leaving the loom the cloth is placed in a fulling machine which condenses the fibers, thus increasing the density. It is then passed over hot presses after a slight shearing.
Finished Worsted is woven with yarn with a considerable twist, and finished in such a way as to show the construction of the cloth clearly. The finishing consists simply of scouring the cloth and not fulling it and then passing it through hot water baths between heavy rolls to remove all the soap. It is then sheared and pressed.
Zephyr. Light worsted yarn, also light weight cotton gingham. Zephyr is Greek for the light west wind.
Zibeline. A cloth manufactured with Merino lamb's wool for warp, and a light wool mixed with camel's hair for filling; or, worsted warp and camel's hair for filling; or either of the foregoing warps and a mixture of wool, camel's hair, and fine cashmere for filling. The long cashmere hair spreads over the surface. Used for ladies' tailor-made coats or suits, according to weight. The name is derived from the Latin word sabellum, meaning sable, and was applied originally to a variety of long-haired fur generally thought to be the same as sable. Zibeline has long hairs on its right side, some grades being almost like fur.
 SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS. In connection with the study of fabrics the author has found it advisable to have the pupils insert in a blank book a sample of the fabric they are studying. In this way the pupil can examine both the filling (weft) and warp threads.
Cotton. Cotton is the most important vegetable fiber used in spinning. The cotton fiber is a soft, downy substance which grows around the cotton seed. When examined under the microscope it appears as a long twisted cell. Owing to the fact that the cotton-plant yields so readily to the varying conditions of soil and climate, there is a large variety of cottons, each having some peculiarity which is considered enough to place it in a distinct class. An idea of the number of species of the cotton-plant can be obtained from the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture has recorded about one hundred and thirty varieties. The most important varieties are: Gossypium herbaceum, G. arboreum, G. hirsutum, G. barbadense, and G. peruvianum. The botanical name of a plant is divided into two parts: first the family name, followed by the species name.
The Gossypium herbaceum grows from four to six feet in height and bears a yellow flower. The seeds are covered with a short gray down. The fiber it bears is classed as short. It is found in Egypt, Asia Minor, Arabia, India, and China. The short-stapled variety of Egyptian cotton is from this species.
The G. arboreum when full grown attains a height from fifteen to twenty feet. The seed is covered with a greenish fur and is enveloped in a fine, silky down, yellowish white in color. It is found in Egypt, Arabia, and China.
The G. hirsutum is a shrubby plant, its maximum height being about six feet. The young pods are hairy, and the seeds are numerous and covered with a firmly adhering green down. It is probable that this is the original of the green-seeded cotton which is now cultivated so extensively in the Southern States of America, and which forms the bulk of the supply from that source.
The G. peruvianum is similar to the G. barbadense. The Brazilian and Peru cottons are from this species.
The G. barbadense grows from six to fifteen feet high; its flowers are yellow and its seeds black and smooth, being quite destitute of the hair that distinguishes other members of the species. It is a native of Barbadoes or has been cultivated there for a long time. Cottons of the finest texture belong to this species—Sea Island and Florida cottons—from which our finest yarns are spun, and it is used chiefly in the manufacture of fine lace. The long-stapled Egyptian and several other varieties are said to be from this stock.
Cotton Growing Countries. The most suitable situation for growing cotton is between 35 degrees north and 40 degrees south of the equator. The chief cotton growing countries of the world in order of importance are: United States, India, Egypt, and Brazil. Cotton is also grown in the following countries, but in no quantity or quality comparable with the four named above—West Indies, west coast of Africa, Asia Minor, China, and Queensland.
The best soil for growing cotton is a light loam or sandy soil, which receives and retains the heat, and at the same time preserves a good supply of moisture. Cold, damp days are not suitable for its growth, while deep rich soils develop too much leaf and stalk. The best climate for the cultivation of cotton is where frost and snow are of short duration, dews are heavy, and the sun bright, warm, and regular. New soils generally produce the best cotton. The character of the cotton fiber is dependent upon three things, the species of the plant, the nature of the soil, and the locality in which it is grown.
Rough Peruvian. The nature of this cotton is harsh and wiry and resembles wool so nearly that it is almost exclusively used to mix with woolen fabrics. The staple is rough and generally strong, and is of a springy tendency, i.e., it does not lie close like American.
East Indian. India depends upon the monsoon for its moisture, and the success or failure of the crop is decided by that phenomenon of nature. Indian cottons as a rule are coarser and shorter than American cottons. The land is prepared before the breaking of the monsoon, and the planting begins after it. There is not the same care bestowed upon the cultivation of the Indian cotton, nor are such improved methods practised as in America. The ancient routine of past generations still persists, and as a consequence the yield per acre is less than one-half that of America. Moreover the acreage planted is only about two-thirds that of America. The better growths of East Indian cotton were once largely used in this country for filling, owing to their good color and cleanliness; but of late years the consumption has steadily decreased, owing chiefly to the increased takings by the Indian mills, also to the exports to China and Japan, and to the preference shown by English spinners for American cotton.
Egyptian Cotton. Egyptian cotton, on account of its long staple and silky gloss, is imported in considerable quantities. Egyptian is largely used in the manufacture of hosiery, and also for mixing with worsted yarn. Owing to its gloss it is used for mixing with silk, and on account of its strength it is made into the finer sewing threads. Egyptian cotton is sometimes so charged with grease that it has a greasy smell; and to make it workable it is necessary to sprinkle it with whitening. It has been observed that velvets woven (or piled) with Egyptian filling do not finish as well as when picked with yarns made from American cotton, the reason for this being that the greasy nature of the Egyptian cotton fiber often varies in strength, causing different shades in the finished goods. This greasy nature is said to be due to two things: (1) the fertility of the soil; (2) the extent to which the cell walls of the fibers are developed.
In addition to cotton, other crops are grown in Egypt—rice, sugar, beans, barley, onions, etc.—and the acreage devoted to cotton is regulated to some extent by the prospects as to which crops are likely to pay best. It is calculated that not more than one-third of the area is usually devoted to cotton.
Sea Island Cotton. This is the finest growth of cotton, and it commands the highest price. The staple, which is long and silky, varies in length from one and a half to two and a half inches. It is used for making fine muslins, laces, spool cotton, and other fabrics, and is also largely mixed with silk. It is said that this cotton was first introduced into America in 1786 from the Bahama Islands, whither it had been brought from the West Indies. It was first cultivated in Georgia, where it was found that the small islands running along the coast were best adapted for its growth, hence the name "Sea Island." It was also grown on the uplands of Georgia, but although remaining good, the quality deteriorated. Counts as high as four hundred are occasionally spun in Sea Island cotton.
Other Varieties. Cotton grown in the Southern States under widely varying conditions of the soil, climate, and care in cultivation, naturally varies in length, strength, and other qualities of staple. Cotton known as "Uplands" or "Boweds" varies in length from three-fourths to one and one-sixteenth inches and is used for filling; this is grown in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee. Cotton used for twist is grown in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, and the length of the staple varies from one to one and three-sixteenths inches. In the swampy and bottom lands in some of the states (notably Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas), cotton is grown with staple ranging from one and one-eighth to one and one-fourth inches. In addition to these, there are especially long stapled growths, known as "Extras," "Allen Seed," and "Peelers," which measure one and three-eighths to one and five-eighths inches. Of late there has been an extensive demand for long-stapled American cotton (one and three-sixteenths to one and one-half inches), owing to the development of fine spinning.
Cotton Raising. Cotton is planted with a machine, which puts it under the ground about one and one-half to two inches. It is not planted as corn is, that is, dropped so far apart, but is planted in a continuous stream. After the cotton comes up out of the ground, when it is about three inches high, it is hoed by ordinary labor with a hoe, and is cut out or, rather, thinned. This is called "chopping out" and is for the purpose of removing the inferior or weak plants until only one strong plant is left. The distance between the plants depends on the nature of the plant, frequently about twelve inches being left between them.
The American Crop. The first step taken is the preparation of the ground for planting. This begins in the southern part of Texas as early as the middle of January, in Florida about the third week; in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, about the beginning of February; in Arkansas, Tennessee, and South Carolina from about the middle of February to the beginning of March. Actual planting begins according to latitude, principally from the middle of March to the middle of April, and ends in the first half of May. These dates, however, are dependent upon the state of the weather. When the weather is unusually wet the start is late. The plant suffers from the rank growth of grass and weeds, and extra labor is required to keep the fields clean. In abnormally hot weather, especially after rains, the plant sheds its leaves, thus exposing the bolls, which fall off, whereupon replanting becomes necessary. In addition to injuries by the weather the cotton-plant is subject to depredations by insects. Of late years the greatest pest has been the Mexican boll weevil.
The cotton-plant blooms ten or eleven weeks after planting. An early bloom is taken as a sign of good crops. When the crop is an early one, picking may commence in the districts in which it ripens first in the latter half of July; but the usual date is the beginning of August, following on in the various districts in succession until the early part of September. The plant goes on fruiting as long as the weather is mild and open. It finishes in the early regions about the beginning of December, the others following through December and closing in the later regions about the middle of January. Frosts play an important part in the ultimate yield. An early killing frost over the entire belt would curtail the size of the crop by 500,000 bales in a season, as was the case in 1909 when about 32,000,000 acres were planted. Light frosts and late frosts do little harm to the cotton-plant; in fact it is contended that the late frosts do much good under certain conditions of the crop, by opening the bolls that otherwise would not open, and thus adding to the quantity of the late pickings. The effect of frost upon the lint so picked is to produce tinged and stained cotton. Early killing frosts occur in some seasons in the early part of November, when much of the yield may be curtailed. When killing frosts occur late in the season, when the fruiting is practically over, it has little or no effect upon the yield except as regards the color.
The ripening of the crop proceeds in three stages, the bolls nearest the ground maturing first, then those around the middle of the plant, and lastly the top crop. Pods half ripe are often forced open and the fiber sent on with good cotton. East Indian is more highly charged with unripe cotton than American. The work of picking is not heavy, but becomes tedious from its sameness. Each hand as he goes to the field is supplied with a large basket and a bag. The basket is left at the head of the cotton row, the bag being suspended from the picker's shoulder by a strap, and used to hold the cotton as it is plucked from the boll. When the bag is full it is emptied into the basket, and this routine continued throughout the day. Each hand picks from 140 to 180 pounds of cotton per day. The average yield in the South varies from 500 to 600 pounds per acre. Every boll of cotton contains seeds resembling unground coffee; when these have been removed by the gin, there remains about one-third the weight of the boll in clean cotton.
Ginning. The next operation to which cotton is subjected is that of ginning, or separating the seeds from the fiber. This work was formerly accomplished by hand, and so great was the quantity of seeds that frequently an entire day was occupied by a workman in separating them from one pound of cotton. At the present day the devices for separating the lint from the seed are of two classes: roller gins and saw gins. The former device is the more ancient, having been used from the earliest times by the Hindoos. In its simplest form it consists of two rollers made of metal or hard wood, fixed in rude frames, through which the cotton is drawn and the seeds forced out in the process. An improved form of the roller gin is at present used for cleaning the long-staple Sea Island cotton. The saw gin, which works on an entirely different principle, is the machine which, with its improvements and modifications, has separated the seed from fiber almost exclusively for one hundred years of American cotton growing. In this machine the seed cotton is fed into a box, one side of which is formed of a grating of metal strips set close together, leaving a narrow opening from one-eighth to a quarter of an inch wide. Into these openings a row or "gang" of thin circular saws project mounted upon a revolving mandrel. The long, protruding teeth of the saws, whirling rapidly, catch the fibers, and pull them away from the seeds. The latter, being too large to pass through the openings of the grating, roll downward and out of the machine. The lint, removed from the row of saws by a revolving brush, passes between rollers and is delivered from the machine in the form of a lap or bat.
This machine is responsible for much of the "nep" (or knots) found in American cotton, which is caused when the machine is overcharged. The Whitney gin will turn through more cotton than any other type of machine, and will clean from 200 to 300 pounds per hour. When the machine is running at high speed the tendency is to string and knot the cotton.
The working of the ordinary gin is as follows: The wagon loaded with cotton is driven under a galvanized spout called the sucker, through which there is a suction of air which draws the cotton into the gins. In each of the gins there are seventy circular saws revolving on one shaft. These saws are about one inch apart, and the teeth go through the gin breast, much as if one were to put the teeth of one comb into the teeth of another comb. This process takes the lint cotton off the seed, and by the use of brushes the cotton goes into the lint flute, into the condenser, and into the box, where it is revolved and made into a bale. While the lint is going through this process, the seeds, being heavier and smaller, draw to the bottom of the gins, fall into an auger which is operated by a belt, and then are dropped into a conveyor and carried to the seed pile or houses. The lint goes in one direction and the seed in another.
When the seed is taken from the cotton at the gin, it is covered with a lint of cotton. In order to remove this the seeds are put through a delinter, which takes off the small, short fiber from the seeds, leaving them clean. This seed is then put through a huller which takes off the outside hull or thick skin. The kernel is then put through a hydraulic press, which squeezes the cotton-seed oil from it and leaves the "meal." Cotton-seed oil is used for many purposes, such as making olive oil, butter or oleomargarine, lard, etc. Of late an experiment has been made with the meal for use in the place of flour, and has been pronounced a success. Seed crushing has now become an important industry, with the cotton crop each year amounting to between 12,000,000 and 13,000,000 bales of 450 pounds each.
The Cotton Gin. The cotton gin was invented in 1792 by Eli Whitney, a citizen of Georgia, but a native of Massachusetts. The importance of this invention to the cotton industry of the world cannot be overestimated. It was the one thing needed to insure a sufficient supply of raw material to meet the requirements of newly invented machinery for spinning and weaving. The result of Whitney's invention was the rapid extension of the culture of cotton in the United States, and its permanent establishment as one of the leading staples of the country.
Cotton Bales. After the cotton is ginned and baled it is shipped to the mill. The standard size of a cotton bale in the United States is 54 x 27 x 27 inches, and contains nearly 500 pounds. To produce this bale over 1,600 pounds of seed cotton are required. The bales are wrapped in jute bagging and strapped with sheet-iron bands, this covering adding about twenty-five pounds to the weight of the bale.
The Bessonette cylindrical bale is turned out by a self-feeding press, which receives the lap of lint from the gin between two heavy rollers. The fiber is rolled upon a long wooden spool so tightly as to press out nearly all the air, and forms a package of uniform shape and size throughout, having a diameter of fourteen to sixteen inches. The bales are covered with cotton cloth, held in place by small wire hoops. It is claimed that the cotton is rolled so tightly by this process that the bales are practically fireproof and waterproof.
Egyptian bales are compressed into a shape similar to the American bale, but the average weight is over 700 pounds.
The Indian bales, which are more closely compressed than the American, usually weigh 400 pounds.
Cotton is purchased by the mill authorities in the shape of a bale. The method is to purchase from cotton brokers, samples being furnished to the buyer from which to make selection.
The commercial value of cotton is determined by its length, fineness, strength, pliability, smoothness, regularity, color, and cleanliness. As a rule, the cotton that is the longest is also the finest, but by no means the strongest. Thus, Sea Island cotton has the longest staple with the least diameter, and Hinganghat (an Indian cotton) is much inferior to it in both respects. The strength of the latter, however, is 50 per cent greater than the strength of Sea Island cotton. In every other respect Sea Island cotton is in advance over Hinganghat cotton. It is the most valuable, especially for the production of fine yarns.
The most regular cotton is Orleans, in which the length of the staple varies only a small fraction of an inch. In consequence of this there is less loss in working Orleans than is the case with the other cottons, owing to the fact that their fibers vary in length.
The Leading Growths of Cotton. In order to purchase the raw material of the cotton manufacture, to arrange the "mixing" or have much to do with the raw material in any other capacity, one should know as much as possible of its characteristics; for ignorance may cause much trouble and no little loss to those who have to spin the cotton. Each crop differs from the previous one to a greater or less degree, as it depends entirely upon the weather. Thus, in a very dry season there is a "droughty crop" which, while it may be (and generally is) clean and well up in class, will be weak, short, and of irregular fiber. In order to obtain the desired length and strength of staple the buyer will have to pay a relatively higher price than in what may be termed a normal season.
Again, in a crop that is poor in class, a defect that may have been caused by too much rain in the early or middle stages of its growth, or by unfavorable weather for the production of cotton of good grade, the staple will probably be all that could be desired, leafy and small, but the buyer will have to pay more to obtain his usual grade, especially if he requires it for good filling. Then there are seasons when the crop turns out fairly well in class and staple, but the cotton is wasty, dirty, or abnormally leafy; and in this case the buyer has to exercise great care and judgment in calculating the extra loss that will ensue.
The terms of purchase of cotton include an allowance of 4 per cent for tares. That is, a bale of cotton weighing 400 pounds would be paid for as 384 pounds, or should the buyer have reason to believe that the tares are unusually heavy, he has the option of claiming the actual tare. This is ascertained by stripping ten bales and weighing the covering and the hoops, which means considerable work, and although it is at the option of the buyer, it is an exception rather than the rule.
As a result of these causes we find cotton divided into the following grades:
Full Grades of Cotton. Egyptian cotton is graded as follows: extra fine, fine, good, fully good fair, good fair, fair, middling fair, middling.
Indian cotton is graded as follows: superfine, fine, fully good, good, fully good fair, good fair, fully fair.
Brazilian cotton may be classed: fine, good, good fair, fair, middling fair, middling.
American cotton has seven grades: fair, middling fair, good middling, middling, low middling, good ordinary, and ordinary.
In addition to the full grades there are half and quarter grades. The American cottons are graded as follows:
Full Grades. Half Grades. Quarter Grades.
Fair, Strict middling fair, Barely fair, Middling fair, Strict good middling, Fully middling fair, Good middling, Strict middling, Barely middling fair, Middling, Strict low middling, Fully good middling, Low middling, Strict good ordinary, Barely good middling, Good ordinary, Strict ordinary. Fully middling, Ordinary. Barely middling, Fully low middling, Barely low middling, Fully good ordinary, Barely good ordinary.
The following are a few of the leading varieties of cotton, with the numbers of yarn they will make:
Cotton. Length. Warp. Filling.
Sea Island (selected) 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 up to 200 250 to 300 Sea Island (ordinary) 1-3/4 to 2 150 220 Florida Sea Island 1-3/4 to 2 150 220 Georgia 1-1/2 to 1-7/8 120 180 Egyptian 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 70 120 Peeler 1-1/4 to 1-3/8 50 70 Orleans or Gulf 1-1/16 to 1-1/4 40 60 Upland 1 to 1-1/8 30 45 Texas 7/8 to 1-1/16 25 35
During the last few years considerable discussion has taken place among mill men, both in this country and abroad, bearing upon the subject of moisture contained in baled cotton. Of course the natural moisture in the cotton fiber varies, as might be expected, from year to year, according to the character of the season during the picking. The standard of moisture is based upon what is known as regain, that is, if 100 parts of absolutely dry cotton are exposed to the air, they will absorb about 8-1/2 per cent of moisture, although a much higher per cent is sometimes found.
In some of the small Southern mills located in the cotton raising section, the cotton is delivered by team direct from the gin, without going through the compress. In this way they save the greater part of transportation expense. They also save in the strength of the cotton fiber itself, since the process of compression injures the fiber. They get better cotton, being nearer the source of supply and having better opportunities for selection.
When the cotton arrives in the shape of a bale, it is necessary to cut ties and loosen up the cotton before use. This may be done in two ways. One method being to pull the bale apart by hand, and the other to pass it through a bale breaker or similar machine, which loosens up the cotton by means of beaters. It now starts on a continuous journey through successive machines until it is made into yarn. The yarn is made into a warp, and the warp interlaced with the filling yarn to make cloth, and the cloth finished for the market.
Not every country is adapted for making cotton yarn, for certain conditions are necessary to manufacture good yarn. If the atmosphere is too warm or too dry, the fibers will become brittle and will not twist well; if too wet they collapse and stick. Lancashire County, England, seems to have been fitted by nature for cotton spinning. It has just the right climate, a moist temperature, and copious water supply. There are hills on the east of the valley, forming a water shed, and the town lies in a basin covered with a bed of stiff clay, that holds the water, allowing it to evaporate just fast enough to keep the air in the moist condition needed to fit the fibers for weaving. Countries that have not these conditions are obliged to produce them by artificial means—humidifying, etc.
MANUFACTURE OF COTTON YARN
Picker Room. The first step in the conversion of the bale of cotton into yarn consists in giving the cotton fibers a thorough cleaning. This is accomplished by feeding the cotton to a series of picker machines called in order, bale breaker, cotton opener and automatic feeder, breaker picker, intermediate picker, and finisher picker. These machines pull to shreds the matted locks and wads of cotton (as we find them in the bale), beat out the dirt, stones, and seeds, and finally leave the cotton in the form of batting upon the cylinders; this batting passes from one machine to another until it issues from the finisher picker as a downy roll or lap.
(Sometimes the bale breaker is not used in the mill.)
Carding Machine. When the lap of cotton leaves the picker it goes to the carding machine, where it is combed into parallel fibers by means of a revolving cylinder covered with wire teeth called card clothing. As the cotton is fed to the card in the form of a sheet or lap from the picker, it is supposed to have been freed from a considerable quantity of sand, seed, etc., but there still remain nep, fine leaf, and short fibers, which are removed during carding.
On leaving the card cylinder the lap has become a gossamer-like web thirty-nine inches broad. This web next passes through small "eyes," which condense it into a narrow band about an inch in width, known as card sliver.
When a lap is delivered from the finisher picker, it should weigh a given number of ounces per yard. The method of ascertaining the weight is to make each lap a standard number of yards in length and weigh each lap. The machine can be regulated so as to give the desired weight per yard.
Combing. When an extremely fine and strong yarn is required, in addition to carding, the fibers are also subjected to the process of "combing." This may be said to be merely a continuation of the carding process to a more perfect degree. The chief object is to extract all fibers below a certain required length, and cast them aside as "waste." This is done in order to secure the very best fibers calculated to give the strongest and best results in the spun yarn.
The process of combing follows carding. The card delivers the cotton in the form of a sliver or strand, while the combing machine requires the fibers to be delivered to it in the form of sheets, nine to twelve inches wide. This is done by taking a number of card slivers and forming a lap of them by passing the sliver through a sliver lap machine. The laps are passed through the comber. This machine consists essentially of a series of rollers, nippers, and rows of metal teeth. By the action of these, the short fibers are separated and combed out, and the long ones arranged in parallel order in the form of a thin, silky strand, in which condition it is sent to the drawing frames to be drawn out. Of course it must be understood that a combing machine is used by only a small percentage of cotton spinners. For ordinary purposes a sufficiently good quality can be made without a comber. As there is from 15 to 35 per cent waste to this operation it may be readily seen that it is costly, and limited entirely to the production of the very best and finest yarns, such as those intended for sewing or machine thread, fine hosiery, lace curtains, underwear, imitation silks, and fine grades of white goods. There are combing machines that comb short staple cotton.
Drawing. The cans containing the slivers are taken from the card or combing machine (as the case may be) to the drawing frame. The object of this machine is mainly to equalize the slivers, combining a number of them together so as to distribute the fibers uniformly. The condition of the fibers on leaving the card or comb is such that a slight pull will lay them perfectly straight or parallel, and this pull is given by the drawing frame rollers. Of course the fibers coming from the comb are parallel, but it is necessary to alternate them by the drawing. The drawing frame is a machine consisting of a number of sets of rollers, the front roller having a greater speed than the rear ones.
The slivers, which are as nearly as possible the same weight per yard, are combined together in the drawing and emerge from the pair of front rollers as one sliver weighing the same number of grains per yard as a single sliver fed up at the back. This process is repeated two or three times, according to requirements, the material then being referred to as having passed through so many "heads" of drawing. It is not unusual to pass Indian and American cotton through three deliveries.
The object of all the processes thus far described has been that of cleaning (in the picker), arranging the fibers in a parallel position to each other, making uniform, and drawing out the stock. In every case the stock delivered from a machine is lighter than when fed into it, and contains just twist enough to hold it together and prevent its being stretched or strained when unwound from the bobbin, and fed into the next machine. The minimum amount of twist in roving is desirable for the reason that it permits the stock to be drawn out more easily and uniformly, the little twist that is put in the roving by the slubber being practically eliminated when it is passed through the rolls of the intermediate. The same applies in the case of the roving passing from the roving to the spinning frame.
Fly Frames. The process in the manufacture of yarn after the cotton has passed through the drawing frame consists of further attenuation of the sliver, but as the cotton sliver has been drawn out as much as is possible without breakage, a small amount of "twist" is introduced to allow of the continued drawing out of the sliver.
From the drawing frame, the drawing passes through two, three, or four fly frames, according to the number of yarn to be made. All these machines are identical in principle and construction, and differ only in the size of some of the working parts. They are the slubber, intermediate, roving,—and fine or jack frame-fine, and the function of each is to draw and twist.
Intermediate Frame. The function of the intermediate frame is to receive the slightly twisted rove from the slubber and add thereto a little more twist and draft. The rove is taken from two bobbins to one spindle in the machine, an arrangement which tends to insure strength and uniformity. The principle of the machine is in other respects the same as that of the slubbing frame.
Roving Frame. The function of the roving frame is to receive the twisted rove from the intermediate and add more twist and draft, thereby further attenuating the rove. As in the intermediate frame the rove is generally taken from two bobbins for one spindle.
Fine or Jack Frame. This machine is used when fine yarns have to be made. It is built on the same principle as the preceding frames, the only difference being that a finer rove is made from which finer numbers of yarn can be spun. As in the slubber, intermediate, and roving frames, the rove is taken from two bobbins for one spindle.
Spinning. In the manufacture of single ply yarn the final process is that of spinning, which consists in drawing out the cotton roving to the required size, and giving it the proper amount of twist necessary to make the yarn of the required strength. While the spinning frame is built on entirely different principles from the roving, intermediate, or slubber frame, the object of each machine is the same as that of the spinning frame. The principal point of difference is the amount of twist imparted to the cotton roving.
The objects of the spinning process are:
1. Completion of the drawing out of the cotton roving to the required size.
2. Insertion of the proper amount of twist to give the thread produced strength.
Excessive speed causes defects in the yarn and undue wear and tear on the machine.
There are two methods of spinning: ring spinning and mule spinning. The mule spinning is the older form. There are but few mule frames in operation in this country.
Mule Spinning. The function of mule spinning is to spin on the bare spindle, or upon the short paper tubes, when such are required to form a base for the cop bottom. The mule will spin any counts of yarn required, and is especially adapted for yarn in which elasticity and "cover" are essentials. Hosiery yarns are produced on the ordinary cotton mule and are very soft spun.
The bobbins of roving are placed in a creel at the back of the machine, the stands of roving being passed through the rolls and drawn out in the same manner as at the roving frame. The spindles are mounted on a carriage which moves backward and forward in its relation to the rolls, the distance roved being about five feet. When the spindles are moving away from the frame the stock is being delivered by the rolls, the speed at which the spindles move away from the rolls being just enough to keep the ends at a slight tension. The twist is put in the yarn at the same time.
When the spindles reach their greatest distance from the rolls, the latter are automatically stopped and the direction of the motion of the spindle carriage reversed. The yarn is wound on the spindle while the carriage is being moved back toward the rolls, the motion of the rolls being stopped in the meanwhile, the spindles revolving only fast enough to wind up the thread that has been spun during the outward move of the carriage.
The mule is a much more complicated machine than the ring frame, its floor space is much greater, and more skilled help is required for its operation. Under ordinary conditions it is not practical to spin finer yarn than No. 60s on a ring, while as high as No. 500s is said to have been spun on a mule. The same number of yarn can be spun on a mule with less twist than on the ring. This is important in hosiery yarn.
Ring spinning is used for coarse numbers, and has greater production and requires less labor than mule spinning. Ring-spinning yarn is used for warp purposes.
Ring Spinning. The function of ring spinning is to draw out the rove and spin it into yarn on a continuous system. The yarn made is spun upon bobbins.
The ring spinning differs from mule spinning in having the carriage replaced by a ring, from which the machine takes its name. The ring is from one and one-half to three inches in diameter, grooved inside and out, and is connected with a flat steel wire shaped like the letter D, called the "traveller." Its office is to constitute a drag upon the yarn, by means of which the latter is wound upon a bobbin. Its size and weight depend on the counts of yarns to be spun; coarse yarns demand the largest ring and heaviest traveller.
THREAD AND COTTON FINISHING
Thread. In general a twisted strand of cotton, flax, wool, silk, etc., spun out to considerable length, is called thread. In a specific sense, thread is a compound cord consisting of two or more yarns firmly united by twisting. Thread is used in some kinds of weaving, but its principal use is for sewing, for which purpose it is composed of either silk, cotton, or flax. Thread made of silk is technically known as sewing silk; that made of flax is known as linen thread; while cotton thread intended for sewing is commonly called spool cotton. These distinctions, while generally observed by trade, are not always maintained by the public.
The spool cotton of to-day is of a different grade from that made before the sewing machine came into general use. The early thread was but three cord, and contained such a large number of knots, thin places, etc., that it could not be worked satisfactorily on the machines, so manufacturers were called upon to produce a thread that would be of the same thickness in every twist. This was effected by making the thread of six cords instead of three, thereby producing a smoother and more uniform strand.
Manufacturing Processes. The raw cotton for the manufacture of thread must be of long staple. If the fiber is short the thread made of it will be weak, and hence unsuited for the purposes required of it. Ordinary cotton is not adapted to the manufacture of the better grades of spool cotton on account of the shortness of its fiber. Egyptian and Sea Island cotton are used because they have a much longer fiber and are softer in texture. The raw cotton comes to the factory packed in great bales, and is usually stored away for some months before it is used. The first step in the conversion of the bale of cotton into thread consists in giving the fiber a thorough cleaning. This is accomplished by feeding it to a series of pickers which pull the matted locks and wads to shreds, beat out the dirt and seeds, and roll the cotton in the form of batting upon cylinders until it issues from the finisher lap machines as a downy roll or lap.
The lap of cotton then goes to the carding rooms, where it is combed into parallel fibers by means of a revolving cylinder covered with fine wire teeth, sometimes 90,000 of them to the square foot. On leaving the carding machines the lap has become a gossamer-like web thirty-nine inches broad. This web is next passed through a small "eye" which condenses it into a narrow band about an inch in width, known as the sliver. By this time the fiber has been so drawn out that one yard of the original lap has become 360 yards of the sliver. The sliver now looks almost perfect, but if it were spun it would not make good thread. It is necessary to lay every fiber as nearly parallel as possible, so that there will be an equal number of fibers in the strand per inch. Besides this, the remaining dirt and short fibers must be removed and the knots and kinks in the fibers straightened out. To accomplish these objects the cotton must be "combed." First, the slivers are passed through several sets of rollers, each set moving faster than the preceding, so that the strands are drawn out fine and thin. In this condition the cotton passes to a doubling frame, and from thence to the lapping frame, a device combining six laps into one and drawing the whole out into one fine, delicate, ropy lap.
The comber now takes the lap and combs out all the impurities and short fibers, at a sacrifice of about one-fifth of the material; next, it combines six of these fluffy combed rolls of fiber into one. A number of these rolls are then drawn out by another machine twelve times as long as they were before and twisted together on a slubbing frame. This last drawing reduces the roll to about the thickness of zephyr yarn. After being further doubled and twisted, the yarn, or roll, is ready for the mule spinner, which accomplishes by means of hundreds of spindles and wheels what the housewife once did with her spinning wheel. The mule, however, does the work of more than 1,000 hand spinners and takes up much less space. On this machine 900 spindles take the yarn from 1,800 bobbins, and by means of accelerating rollers and a carriage draw out and twist it to the proper fineness for the size of thread wanted. Having passed through the complex processes of cleansing, combing, drawing, and spinning, the cotton is now in the form of yarn of various sizes, and the real work of thread making, which is a distinct art from yarn making, begins.
The thread-making process is briefly as follows: The yarn is doubled and twisted; then three of such yarns are twisted together, which give the six-fold combination for six-cord thread. For a three-cord thread three yarns are twisted together. After the twisting is completed the thread is reeled into skeins having a continuous length of 4,000 to 12,000 yards, according to the size, and is then sent to the examining department where it is rigidly inspected. Every strand is looked over, and any found to be defective are laid aside, so that when the thread is put on the market it shall be as perfect as care and skill can make it.
At this stage of the work the skeins of thread are of the pale cream color common to all unbleached cotton goods, and are technically known as "in the gray." They therefore have to be bleached pure white or dyed in fast colors. The skeins, whether intended for white or colored thread, are first placed in large, steam-tight iron tanks and boiled. Here the thread remains subjected to a furious boiling for six or seven hours; when removed it is perfectly clean, but still retains the brownish gray color of unbleached cotton. It then goes into a bath of chloride of lime and is bleached as white as snow. The skeins are next drawn through an acid solution to neutralize the chloride. Another boiling, another bleaching, a bath of soapsuds, and the final rinsing, complete the cleansing and whitening process. Those skeins intended for colored threads are taken to the dyeing room and placed in tanks filled with suitably prepared dyeing solutions.
From the bleaching and dyeing departments the skeins of thread go back to the mill to be wound on the bobbins, and from the bobbins finally on the small wooden spools. The automatic winding machines can be regulated to wind any given number of yards. The small spools are fastened on pivots, the thread from the bobbins fastened on the spools, and the machines set in motion. At the required number of yards the spools stop revolving. The ordinary spool of cotton thread contains 200 yards, and when this has been wound on, the thread is cut with a knife by an attendant, who also cuts the little nick in the rim of the spool and fastens therein the end of the thread. Thread mills commonly print their own labels, and these are affixed to the spools by special machinery with remarkable rapidity. From the labeling machine the spools go to an inspector, who examines each one for imperfections, and any that are found faulty are discarded. When packed in pasteboard boxes or in cabinets the thread is ready for market.