Thread Numbers. Spool cotton for ordinary use is made in sizes ranging from No. 8 coarse to No. 200 fine. In cotton yarn numbering, the fineness of the spun strand is denoted by the number of hanks, each containing 840 yards, which are required to weigh one pound, as illustrated in the following table:
When 1 hank of cotton yarn ( 840 yds.) weigh 1 lb. it is No. 1 " 10 " " " " ( 8,400 yds.) " " " " 10 " 16 " " " " (13,440 yds.) " " " " 16 " 30 " " " " (25,200 yds.) " " " " 30 " 50 " " " " (42,000 yds.) " " " " 50 " 100 " " " " (84,000 yds.) " " " " 100
The early manufactured thread was three cord, and took its number from the size of the yarn from which it was made. No. 60 yarn made No. 60 thread, though in point of fact the actual caliber of No. 60 thread would equal No. 20 yarn, being three No. 60 strands combined together. When the sewing machine came into the market as the great consumer of thread, spool cotton had to be made a smoother and more even product than had previously been necessary for hand needles. This was accomplished by using six strands instead of three, the yarns being twice as fine. As thread numbers were already established, they were not altered for the new article, and consequently at the present time No. 60 six-cord, for example, and No. 60 three-cord are identical in size, though in reality No. 60 six-cord is formed of No. 120 yarns. It is relatively smoother, more even, and stronger than the three-cord grade. All sizes of six-cord threads are made of six strands, each of the latter being twice as fine as the number of the thread as designated by the label. Three-cord spool cotton is made of three strands of yarn, each of the same number as the thread.
Sizing. In textile manufacturing, sizing is the process of strengthening warp yarns by coating them with a preparation of starch, flour, etc., in order that they may withstand the weaving process without chafing or breaking. The operation of sizing is also often resorted to in finishing certain classes of cotton and linen fabrics, which are sized or dressed with various mixtures in order to create an appearance of weight and strength where these qualities do not exist, or, if present, only in a small degree. The object in sizing warp yarn before weaving is to enable that process to be performed with the minimum of threads breaking. Judicious sizing adds to the strength of the yarn by filling up the spaces between the fibers, and by binding the loose ends on the outside of the thread to the main part. In order to accomplish this a number of ingredients are used in the size preparation, as no single material used alone gives satisfactory results. The filling up of the minute spaces in the yarns and the adhesion of the fibers produce a smooth thread with sufficient hardness to resist the continual chafing of the shuttles, reeds, and harnesses during the process of weaving. Flour and starch in a liquid state are used for this purpose, but owing to the liability to mildew, flour is not so much used as starch. Both of these materials, however, make the yarn brittle, and other ingredients are combined with them to overcome the brittleness. For a softener on heavy weight goods nothing has been found superior to good beef tallow. On light-weight goods the softener giving the most general satisfaction is paraffin.
When properly made the size preparation is a smooth mass of uniform consistence, free from lumps of any kind, and from all sediment and odor. Starch—the principal material which gives body to any size—requires the most careful treatment. It is first mixed with cold water into a smooth, creamy milk, which is slowly poured into the necessary quantity of boiling water until a clear, uniform paste is formed. Then the softeners are added, such as soaps, oils, and animal fats; next a small amount of gelatine or glue is stirred in and some form of preservative, usually chloride of zinc or salicylic acid. The mass is then thoroughly stirred in tilted jacketed kettles with mechanical stirrers. The size may be applied to the yarn either hot or cold. When applied hot it penetrates into the interior, filling up every space between the fibers, binding all together, and forming a hard coating on the surface of the thread. A thorough washing or steaming serves to remove all the size from the woven fabric.
Cotton Finishing. Cotton fabrics, like other textiles, after leaving the loom must be subjected to various finishing processes so as to bring them into commercial condition. On piece-dyed goods part of the finishing is done before and part after the dyeing process. Each class of fabrics has definite finishing processes. In some cases weighting materials are added to the fabric so as to hide more or less its actual construction. Cotton fabrics just from the loom present a soft and open structure, more so than other textiles. Therefore it is necessary to use proper finishing materials and processes which will fill up the openings or interstices as produced in the fabric by the interlacing of warp and filling, and at the same time give to the fabric a certain amount of stiffness. Of course this finish will disappear during wear or washing, it having been imparted to the fabric to bring the latter into a salable condition.
Cotton fabrics after weaving may be subjected to the following sub-processes of finishing:
Inspecting, Burling and Trimming, Bleaching, Washing, Scutching, Drying.
After the cloth leaves the loom it is brushed; then it passes over to the inspection table in an upward receding direction, so that the eye of the operator can readily detect imperfections. The ends of two or more pieces as coming from the loom are sewed into a string for convenient handling in the bleaching.
Bleaching. The object of bleaching is to free the cotton from its natural color. The ancient method of bleaching by exposure to the action of the sun's rays and frequent wetting has been superseded by a more complicated process involving the use of various chemicals. Pieces of cloth are tacked together (sewed) to form one continuous piece of from three to one thousand yards in length. The cloth is next passed over hot cylinders or a row of small gas jets to remove all the fine, loose down from the surface. The goods are then washed and allowed to remain in a wet condition for a few hours, after which they are passed through milk of lime under heavy pressure, followed by rinsing in clear water. The goods are next "scoured" in water acidulated with hydrochloric acid, and boiled in a solution of soda, then washed as before in clear water. Next they are chlorined by being laid in a stone cistern containing a solution of chloride of lime and allowed to remain a few hours. This operation requires great care in the preparation of the chloride of lime, for if the smallest particle of undissolved bleaching powder is allowed to come in contact with and remain upon the cloth it is liable to produce holes. The goods are then boiled for four or five hours in a solution of carbonate of soda, after which they are washed. They are again chlorined as before and washed. The long strips are finally scoured in hydrochloric acid, washed, and well squeezed between metal rollers covered with cloth. After squeezing and drying, the cloth, if required for printing, needs no further operation, but if intended to be marketed in a white state, it must be finished, that is, starched or calendered.
Starching. The starch is applied to the cloth by means of rollers which dip into a vat containing the solution, while other rollers remove the excess. Sometimes the cloth is artificially weighted with fine clay or gypsum, the object being to render the cloth solid in appearance.
Calendering. The cloth is now put through the calendering machine, the object of which is to give a perfectly smooth and even surface, and sometimes a superficial glaze; the common domestic smoothing iron may be regarded as a form of a calendering utensil. The cloth is first passed between the cylinders of a machine two, three, or four times, according to the finish desired. The calender finishes may be classed as dull, luster, glazed, watered or moire, and embossed. The calender always flattens and imparts a luster to the cloth passed through it. With considerable pressure between smooth rollers a soft, silky luster is given by equal flattening of all the threads. By passing two folds of the cloth at the same time between the rollers the threads of one make an impression upon the other, and give a wiry appearance. The iron rollers are sometimes made hollow for the purpose of admitting steam or gas in order to give a glaze finish. Embossing is produced by passing the cloth under heated metal rollers upon which are engraved suitable patterns, the effect of which is the reproduction of the pattern upon the surface of the cloth.
Mercerizing. This is a process of treating cotton yarn or fabrics with caustic soda and sulphuric acid whereby they are made stronger and heavier, and given a silky luster and feel. The luster produced upon cotton is due to two causes, the change in the structure of the fiber, and the removing of the outer skin of the fiber. The swelling of the fiber makes it rounder, so that the rays of light as they fall upon the surface are reflected instead of being absorbed. The quality and degree of luster of mercerized cotton fabrics depends largely upon the grade of cotton used. The long-staple Egyptian and Sea Island cotton, so twisted as to leave the fibers as nearly loose and parallel as possible, show the best results. If the yarn is singed the result is a further improvement. Yarns and fabrics constructed of the ordinary grades of cotton cannot be mercerized to advantage. The cost of producing high-grade mercerized yarn is about three times that of an unmercerized yarn of the same count, spun from the commoner qualities of cotton.
Mercerized yarn is employed in almost every conceivable manner, not only in the manufacture of half-silk and half-wool fabrics, and in lustrous all-cotton tissues, but also in the production of figures and stripes of cotton goods having non-lustrous grounds. Mercerized yarn used in connection with silk is difficult to detect except by an expert eye.
Characteristics of a good piece of Cotton Cloth. A perfect cotton fiber has little convolutions in it which give the strong twist and spring to a good thread. In this respect the Sea Island cotton is the best. There are five things requisite for cotton cloth to be good, viz.:
1. The cloth must be made of good fiber, that is ripe and long.
2. The fiber must be carefully prepared. All the processes must be well performed—for the very fine thread fiber must be combed to remove poor fiber. The combing, however, is not always done.
3. The warp and woof threads must be in good proportion.
4. The cloth must be soft, so that it will not crease easily.
5. It must be carefully bleached—the chemicals used must not be strong.
The art and process of forming fabrics by looping a single thread, either by hand with slender wires or by means of a machine provided with hooked needles, is called knitting. Crocheting is an analogous art, but differs from knitting in the fact that the separate loops are thrown off and finished by hand successively, whereas in knitting the whole series of loops which go to form one length or round are retained on one or more needles, while a new series is being formed on a separate needle. Netting is performed by knotting threads into meshes that cannot be unraveled, while knitting can be unraveled and the same thread applied to any other use. Knitting is really carried on without making knots; thus, the destruction of one loop threatens the destruction of the whole web, unless the meshes are reunited.
The principle of knitting is quite distinct from that of weaving. In the weaving of cloth the yarns of one system cross those of another system at right angles, thus producing a solid, firm texture. The great elasticity of any kind of texture produced by knitting is the chief feature that distinguishes hosiery from woven stuffs. The nature of the loop formed by the knitting needle favors elongation and contraction without marring in the least the general structure of the goods. Builders of weavers' looms have at times endeavored to secure this elastic effect by certain manipulations of the mechanism of the loom, but as yet nothing approaching the product of the knitter has been made. The elastic feature of a knitted texture renders it peculiarly adapted for all classes and kinds of undergarments, for it not only fits the body snugly, but expands more readily than any other fabric of similar weight.
Knitting Machines. There are various machines for knitting. The circular knitting machine produces a circular web of various degrees of fineness, and in sizes ranging from a child's stocking to a man's No. 50 undershirt. The circular fabric made in this manner has to be cut up and joined together by some method to make a complete garment. The knitting frame for producing fashioned goods makes a flat strip, narrowing and widening it at certain places so as to conform to the shape of the foot, leg, or body. These strips then have to be joined by sewing or knitting to form a garment. Fashioning machines are indispensable for knitting the Niantic and French foot, and also for the production of stripes, fancy openwork, and lace hosiery.
All plain machines of any class produce only plain knitted fabrics, while ribbed machines make only ribbed fabrics. Still, many garments in their make-up include both kinds of knitting; therefore, many machines produce only certain parts of particular garments. In the case of half-hose there is frequently a ribbed top, or in underwear a ribbed cuff, and these may be made either of circular web or full fashioned. In each case the ribbed portion is first knit and then transferred to a plain machine, and being placed upon the needles is worked on to the rest of the garment. In some instances the heel is made by the machine working the leg, though there are numerous knitters specially designed for turning out only this particular part.
Among other knitting machines in modern use are the drawers machine; machines for hose and half-hose with apparatus for making the instep, finishing off the toe, splicing or thickening the heels, etc.; machines for producing the bottoms or soles of hose separately, and also the instep separately; circular stocking machines for producing a tubular web afterwards cut into suitable lengths for all varieties of hose; circular sleeve machines, circular body machines, as well as circular web machines for making both body and sleeves of undershirts, jerseys, sweaters, etc. Special machines are also made for knitting both plain and ribbed plaited goods, that is, with both sides wool while the center is of cotton, or with a silk or worsted face on one side and the back of an inferior yarn. In the form of auxiliary appliances are produced many kinds of stitching machines; circular latch-needle machines for plain ribbed, mock seam, and striped goods; steam presses; hose rolling machines; hose cutting and welting machines, and many other accessories to hosiery manufacture.
At present fully one-third of the knit underwear used in this country is of the ribbed description. It is made in all the materials that the older flat goods are composed of, including silk, silk mixtures, linen, wool, lisle, and cotton. Rib work is ordinarily stronger and more lasting than plain. It is also invaluable for many purposes on account of its tendency to contract and expand in the direction of the circumference without altering its length. This feature makes it indispensable for tops to socks and wrist work for shirts, mittens, gloves, etc., and for the production of heavy garments such as cardigans and sweaters. The expense of knitting rib work is higher than plain knitting, owing to the fact that the machines cannot turn out so great a quantity within a given time.
The formation of the rib in knitted goods is unique in its principle. The effect is produced by reversing the stitch. In place of making the stitch work appear entirely upon one side of the fabric, as in plain work, the needles are so arranged that every alternate row, or two rows alternately, are reversed, thus making both sides alike. Plain work is done with a single bank of needles, while rib work requires two banks, the function of the second one being to pull and loop the yarn in an opposite direction, thus producing a thicker and more elastic web.
Double work in knitting consists merely in running two threads where one is commonly used. The work is done readily and with but little extra cost for labor. Coarser and heavier needles are required, also a wider gauge for the needle cylinder. Fancy effects in double work are produced by running two colors instead of one. The tendency is for one thread to twine about the other, thus making attractive double-and-twist work. Lumbermen's socks and like goods are often knitted on this plan, though for the most part double work is for the heels, toes, and soles of ordinary hose.
Stripe Knitting. The process of striping knitted fabrics is accomplished automatically by a system of changing the yarns when delivered by the feeds. Circular machines knitting a tubular web cannot be utilized for this purpose, hence the work is done on fashioning or stocking frames. It has only been within recent years that makers of knitting machinery have been able to offer machines on which more than one kind of yarn could be knit at one time. There are now in use, however, machines that will readily knit several colors of yarn at the same time.
Knitting Cotton. A variety of loosely twisted, four-ply cotton yarn, dyed in various plain and mixed colors, employed for knitting hosiery, tidies, mats, etc., by hand. It is numbered from 8, coarse, to 20, fine, and commonly put up sixteen balls in a box, each box containing two pounds, manufacturer's weight.
Knitting Silk. A loosely twisted silk thread of domestic manufacture employed for knitting mittens, stockings, and other articles by hand. It is also much used for crochet work. Knitting silk is put up in the form of balls, each containing one-half ounce of thread. It is made in but two sizes, No. 300, coarse, and No. 500, fine; each ball of the former number contains 150 yards of silk; of the latter 250 yards. No. 500 is manufactured only in white, cream, and black; the No. 300 is fast dyed in a great variety of colors.
Hosiery Manufacture. According to the particular method by which socks and stockings are made, of whatever kind, quality, or material, they are classed as cut goods, seamless, or full fashioned. Of the three methods of manufacturing the first named is the least expensive. Cut goods are made of round webbing knitted on what is called a circular knitting machine. The web has the appearance of a long roll of cloth about the width of a sock or stocking when pressed flat. The first operation consists in cutting off pieces the length of the stocking desired, these lengths, of course, being the same (unshaped) from end to end. The shaping of the leg is effected either by cutting out enough of the stocking from the calf to the heel to allow part to be sewn up and shaped to fit the ankle, or by shrinking. In the heeling room where the pieces next go, the cutters are furnished with gauges or patterns that indicate just where to make a slit for the insertion of the heel, generally of a different color. When the heel is sewn in, the stocking begins to assume its rightful shape. The toe is now put on and the stocking is practically finished. In the case of socks the final operation consists in attaching the ribbed top, which tends to draw the upper part of the leg together, thus causing it to assume a better shape. The final work includes scouring, dyeing, and shaping. The cost of making cut goods is less by a few cents per dozen than when knit seamless. While some very creditable hose are produced in this way, yet the existence of the heavy seam is an objection which confines them to the poorest class of trade. Cut goods are made in all sizes and kinds for men, women, and children.
Seamless hose are made on a specially constructed machine which produces the entire stocking, but leaves the toe piece to be joined together by a looping attachment. On half-hose the leg is made the same size down to the ankle, but on ladies' hose the stocking is shaped somewhat in the machine. Seamless hose are not, strictly speaking, entirely seamless, inasmuch as all stockings made on a circular knitting machine must have a seam somewhere. There must be a beginning and an ending. In the case of the stocking the ending is at the toe, and the opening left can only be closed with a seam. In some mills this opening is automatically stitched together on special machines; in others, girls do it by hand with needle and thread. Neither by machine nor handwork can the opening be closed with exactly the same stitch as that made by the needles of the power knitter. However, the seam is of small proportions, and when the goods are scoured, pressed, and finished the presence of the seam is a minor item, as it neither incommodes the wearer nor mars the appearance of the stocking. Seamless goods are made in a great variety of qualities, ranging from cotton half-hose at fifty cents per dozen to the fine worsted stockings at $6.00 per dozen. A notable and very commendable feature of seamless hose is the socket-like shape of the heel, which fits that portion of the foot as though really fitted to it. As far as comfort and fit are concerned, the manufacture of seamless hosiery has now reached such a degree of perfection as to bring it second only to the full-fashioned variety.
Full-fashioned hose are produced by means of complicated and expensive knitting frames, which automatically drop the requisite number of stitches at the ankle so as gradually to narrow the web down and give the stocking the natural shape of the leg. The toe is produced in the same way, and the shaping of heel and gusset is brought about in like manner. Hence, the goods are called full-fashioned, because so fashioned as to conform to the proportions of the leg and foot. Hose and underwear made by this method are knit in flat strips and then seamed either by hand or machine. Generally special machines are used, which take up and complete the selvedges, thus avoiding objectionable seams with raw edges.
The knitting frames used for making full-fashioned goods are large, intricate, expensive, and slow in operation; they are difficult to keep in order and require skilful operators. The largest ones knit from fourteen to eighteen stockings at once, using as many as four threads of different colors in the production of patterns. The first operation consists in knitting the leg down to the foot; then the legs are transferred by expert workmen to another frame which knits the foot. Next they go to another department where, with the aid of a special looping machine, the heels and toes are stitched together. Then the stockings or socks are handed over to expert women operators, who seam up the legs on a machine especially adapted for the purpose. After being sorted they are taken to be dyed, boarded, stitched, dried, and finally subjected to heat and pressure to give them a finished appearance. It usually requires two weeks from the time the manufacturing operations begin, for a stocking to emerge from the factory in a finished form. Full-fashioned hose are made in all shades and grades of silk and cotton, in lisle thread, and in all kinds of cashmere, merino, and woolen goods. They are likewise knitted plain, ribbed, and with fancy stripes and embroidery effects. In the United States there are numerous important plants engaged in the production of full-fashioned goods, while large quantities are annually imported from Germany and France.
Finishing Process. When socks and stockings are taken off of the knitting machines they present an unfinished appearance, being loose, puckered, dirty, and generally shapeless. Scouring, dyeing, shaping, and pressing serve to improve their looks, and these finishing operations constitute a distinct branch of the industry. While still in a moist state the hose are shaped. This is effected by the use of forming-boards made of wood and about one-half of an inch in thickness. The sock or stocking is carefully stretched over the "form" while damp, and then placed in a heated chamber and allowed to dry. The goods assume the shape of the wooden "form," and will always hold it if the work has been carefully and thoroughly done. After they have been taken from the drying chamber and the boards removed the hose are pressed between heavy metal plates or rollers, looked over for defects, and when boxed or bundled are ready for market.
Lace. Lace is the name applied to an ornamental open work of threads of flax, cotton, silk, gold, or silver, and occasionally of mohair or aloe fiber. The latter are used by the peasants of Italy and Spain.
Lace consists of two parts, the ground and the flower. The threads may be looped, plaited, or twisted in one of three ways. First, with a needle, when the work is known as "needlepoint lace." Second, when bobbins, pins, and a pillow or cushion are used; this is called "pillow lace." Third, by machinery, when imitations of both point and pillow lace patterns are produced.
Special patterns for these laces date from the beginning of the sixteenth century. The early productions of the art had some analogy to weaving; the patterns were stiff and geometrical, sometimes cut out of linen or separately sewed and applied to the meshed surface, but more frequently they were darned in, the stitches being counted in, as in tapestry. This kind was known as darned netting. With the development of the renaissance of art, free flowing patterns and figure subjects were introduced and worked in.
Whether of needlepoint or pillow make, both the ornament and the ground are produced by the lace maker. Needlepoint is made by first stitching the net with thread along the outline of a pattern drawn on paper or parchment, thus producing a skeleton thread pattern. This threadwork serves as a foundation for the different figures which are formed in the lace.
Bobbin or pillow lace more nearly resembles weaving. The threads are fixed upon a circular or square pillow, placed variously to suit the methods of manufacture in vogue in different countries. The object of using the pillow is to prevent too much handling of the lace. One end of each thread is fastened to the cushion with a pin, the main supply of thread being twined around a small bobbin of wood, bone, or ivory. The threads are twisted and plaited together by the lace maker, who throws the bobbins over and under each other. The operation is fairly simple, since children of eight or nine years of age can be trained to it successfully. It demands, however, considerable dexterity with the fingers.
The design for pillow lace must of course be adapted to the technical requirements of the process, and cannot therefore be the same as one for needlepoint, which has a better appearance and greater strength than pillow lace. For this reason it was in former times generally preferred for wear on occasions of state. On the other hand, pillow lace has the quality of charming suppleness, and for use in mantillas, veils, and fichus it is better than needlepoint, lending itself with delicate softness and graceful flexibility as a covering to the head and shoulders of women.
LACE TERMS DEFINED
Alencon (Point d').—Fine needlepoint lace with the ground of double-twist thread in a semi-net effect. Is usually worked with horsehair on the edges to give firmness to the cordonnet. Called after the city in France where it is made.
Allover.—Name for all wide laces used for flouncing, yokes, and entire waists. Usually the lace is over eighteen inches in width.
American Laces.—A general term formerly used to distinguish lace made in this country, the development of the industry having now rendered the term nearly obsolete.
Angleterre (Point d').—Fine Brussels pillow lace, distinguished by a rib of raised and plaited threads worked in the lace. Shown in floral, ornithological, and geometrical designs.
Antique.—Hand-made pillow lace of heavy linen thread in a large, open, rectangular knotted mesh. Used for curtains, bed sets, draperies.
Antwerp.—Bobbin lace, resembling early Alencon. Shows a "pot"—that is, a vase or basket effect—in the design.
Applique.—Any lace in which the body and the design are made separately. The body is usually silk and the design cotton or linen.
Applique Brussels.—Name sometimes given to Brussels applique laces.
Arabe (Point d').—Coarse bobbin lace made in Belgium and France as well as Arabia. Shows a large, bold pattern, cable edged, and is almost invariably in a deep ecru tone. Used for curtains and draperies.
Arabian.—Same as above.
Argentine.—Similar to Alencon, the mesh being a trifle larger.
Arras.—Very strong, inexpensive, white bobbin lace, of simple pattern, somewhat resembling Mechlin. Distinguished by its light, single thread ground. Named after the city in France where it is made.
Aurillac.—Somewhat resembles Angleterre. Bobbin lace made in Aurillac, France.
Auvergne.—Any kind of bobbin lace made in Auvergne, France. Different makes and patterns.
Ave Maria.—A narrow edging lace.
Baby Lace.—Light and simple edging lace made in England.
Battenberg.—Same as Renaissance. Designs confined to flower patterns.
Bayeux.—Bobbin lace, usually an imitation of Spanish point. Also a black, rich lace made in large pieces for shawls, head scarfs, etc.
Binche.—Fine pillow lace, without cordonnet. Ground resembles a spider-web with small dots. Made in Binche, Belgium.
Bisette.—Coarse, narrow French peasant lace in simple designs. Name often applied to cheap bordering laces.
Blonde.—So called, being originally a bobbin lace made of unbleached silk, though now shown in black, white, and colors. Made with two different sizes of thread; fine thread for the ground, coarse for the design. Usually takes some floral form. Very lustrous.
Bobbin Lace.—Imitation of pillow lace. Made in England and France.
Bone Lace.—An obsolete term once given to Honiton bobbin lace.
Bone Point Lace.—Applied to laces having no regular ground or mesh, such as Renaissance.
Border Lace.—Practically synonymous with edging.
Bourdon.—A machine lace made of both silk and cotton. Show scroll-like patterns cable-edged on a regular mesh. Usually dyed black, but sometimes bleached. The outline is of a heavy lustrous thread. Used chiefly for dress trimming and millinery.
Brettone.—Cheap narrow edging.
Bride Lace.—Lace with the pattern connected with brides. Same as bone point lace.
Brides.—Slender threads connecting different parts of a pattern.
Brussels Net.—Plain net made originally in Brussels, but now produced in all lace manufacturing countries.
Brussels Pillow.—Fine pillow lace with the patterns joined together by little loops on their edges.
Brussels Point.—Shows an open pattern, made partly in open, partly in closed, stitch, giving the appearance of shading.
Carrickmacross.—Tiny Irish cambric drawn work, applique on net.
Cartisane.—Guipure or passementerie made with thin silk or gilt-covered strips of parchment.
Chantilly.—Pillow lace very similar to blonde. Comes from Chantilly, France. Made in both silk and cotton and usually seen in black. Non-lustrous, and looks as if made from black linen thread.
Chiffon Lace.—Chiffon embroidered in twist silk.
Cluny.—Coarse-thread bobbin lace, made in both linen and cotton. Shows a close-stitch pattern darned on an open ground. Used for dress trimmings and the manufacture of curtains.
Cork Lace.—A sweeping term used to designate all laces of Irish make.
Cotton Lace.—All lace made of cotton.
Craponne.—Cheap, stout thread furniture guipure.
Crochet Lace.—Any point lace made with the crochet hook.
Darned Lace.—A comprehensive term taking in all net effects with the pattern applied in needlework.
Devonshire Lace.—Lace made in this part of England, and especially Honiton imitation.
Dieppe.—Fine needlepoint lace made in Dieppe, France. Resembles Valenciennes. Made with a regular ground of squares of small meshes alternating with open squares upon which the pattern is applied in close stitch.
Duchesse.—Pillow lace with fine net ground with the patterns in raised work, volants, and the like.
Dutch Lace.—Practically a coarse Valenciennes.
English Point.—See Angleterre.
Escurial.—Heavy silk lace made in imitation of Rose point. Patterns outlined with cable edge.
Esprit (Point d').—Dotted bobbinet with the dots either singly or in clusters.
Filet Lace.—Any lace made with a square mesh net.
Flemish Point.—Needlepoint lace made in Flanders.
Footing.—Simple insertion of Brussels net from one to three inches in width.
Galloon.—Irregular band with a fancy edge. Entire piece often in zigzag or scallop form.
Gaze (Point de).—Flemish point lace resembling point d'Alencon, though much softer, being without horsehair.
Gene (Point de).—Openwork embroidery made on a wool ground which is afterwards eaten away by acid.
Genoa.—Heavy lace made of aloe fiber. Another name for macrame.
Gold Lace.—Gimp or braid covered with gold or imitation gold thread.
Grammont.—White pillow lace used for shawls and the like. Black silk lace nearly resembling blonde.
Guipure.—Fancy trimming of wire cord whipped round with silk or cotton threads, and the small patterns stitched together.
Guipure d'Art.—Linen net upon which raised intersecting patterns are worked.
Guipure de Flanders.—A pillow lace made separately, having flowers connected by bars and brides.
Hand Embroidered.—Heavy point lace, usually of Plauen manufacture, with fancy floral or other figures embroidered on the design.
Honiton.—English bobbin lace, famed for the beauty of its designs. Named for the city where it was first manufactured. Now made in Belgium, Holland, and France. Sprays sometimes made separately, and then worked on a net—Honiton applique.
Honiton Braid.—Narrow machine-made braid of ornamental oval figures connected by narrow bars. Used for collars, handkerchiefs, and tidies.
Honiton Guipure.—Large flower-pattern lace on very open ground, the sprays held together with brides or bars.
Imitation Lace.—A term used to designate any machine-made lace in contrast with hand-made.
Insertion.—Any narrow lace with a plain edge on either side that admits of its being inserted in a fabric.
Irish Crochet.—Heavy hand-made lace, remarkable for the beauty and distinctness of its patterns, and the startling whiteness of the linen thread used in its manufacture.
Irish Lace.—A general term used to designate all lace made by the Irish peasantry.
Irish Point.—Hybrid combination of applique, cut work, and embroidery on net with elaborate needle stitching in the higher grades.
Irish Trimming.—Simple, woven lace, used on white wear.
Knotted Lace.—Frequently referred to as knotting. A fancy weave of twisted and knotted threads in close imitation of some old hand laces.
Lille (Also Lile).—French lace named after the town where it is made. Somewhat resembles Mechlin. Shows a very clear, light ground and is the most beautiful of all simple thread laces.
Limerick Lace.—A form of embroidery on net or muslin.
Luxeuil.—A general term for hand-made laces of Luxeuil, France. More specifically those of a stout, heavy nature. Used for tidies, curtains, draperies.
Macrame.—Knotted hand-made lace, made of a very heavy cord. Shown principally in geometrical designs. Very popular in deep ecru.
Maline.—Fine silk net. Sometimes also applied to Mechlin lace with a diamond mesh.
Maltese.—Coarse machine-made cotton lace, resembling torchon. Has no regular ground, the patterns being usually connected with heavy stitch work.
Mechlin.—Light pillow lace with the pattern outlined by a fine but very distinct thread or cord. Real Mechlin generally has the ground pattern woven together, the latter running largely to flowers, buds, etc.
Medallion.—Single, detached pattern.
Medici.—Special kind of torchon edging, with one edge scalloped.
Melange.—Hand-made silk pillow lace, showing a combination of conventional Chantilly with Spanish designs.
Mignonette.—Light bobbin lace, made in narrow strips. Resembles tulle.
Miracourt.—Sprig effects of bobbin-lace applied on net ground.
Mexican Drawnwork.—Little round medallions either single or in strips, the threads drawn to form a cartwheel. Mexican and Teneriffe drawnwork are practically the same. Machine imitations made in Nottingham, Calais, and St. Gall.
Nanduly.—South American fiber-lace, made by needle in small squares, which are afterward joined together. Design very beautiful and of remarkable durability.
Needlepoint Lace.—See Point Lace.
Normandy Lace.—See Valenciennes.
Nottingham.—A general term including all the machine-made laces turned out in that great lace-producing center of England.
Oriental Lace.—Really an embroidery, being produced on the Schiffli machine, the pattern being then either cut or eaten out. Also applied to point d'Arabe and certain filet effects.
Oyah Lace.—A crocheted guipure shown in ornate patterns.
Passementerie.—A decorative edging or trimming, especially gimp or braid.
Picots.—Infinitesimal loops on brides and other strands.
Pillow Lace (Bobbin Lace).—Made on a pillow with bobbins and pins. Machine-made imitations retain the name.
Plauen.—Applied to all laces emanating from that section of Saxony and including imitations of nearly all point laces, which are embroidered on a wool ground, this being afterward dissolved in acid and the cotton or silk design left intact.
Point de Gaze.—Fine gauze-like needle-lace.
Point d'Irelande.—Coarse machine lace, made in imitation of real Venetian point.
Point de Milan.—A variety of guipure, having a ground of small meshes, and a pattern consisting of bold, flowing scroll devices.
Point de Paris.—A variety of cheap machine lace, cotton, of simple design.
Point Kant.—Flemish pillow lace, with a net ground and the design running largely to "pot" effects—pot lace.
Point Lace.—Lace made by hand with needle and single thread. Needlepoint the same. Point d'Alencon, point de Venise, etc., are all variations of point lace and will be found classified under their initials.
Point Plat.—Point lace without raised design.
Renaissance.—Modern lace, made of narrow tape or braid formed into patterns, held together by brides, the brides forming subsidiary designs. Battenberg is the same thing.
Repousse.—Applied to the design, being a pattern that has the effect of being stamped in.
Rococo.—Italian lace, bearing the rococo design.
Rose Point.—See Venetian point.
Seaming Lace.—Narrow, openwork insertion.
Seville.—Variety of torchon.
Spanish Lace.—A comprehensive term. Convent-made, needlepoint lace. Cut drawnwork effects, also convent-made. Needlepoint lace in large squares. Black silk lace in floral designs.
Spanish Point.—Ancient embroidery of gold, silver, and silk passementerie.
Swiss Lace.—Swiss embroidered net in imitation of Brussels.
Tambour.—Variety of Limerick.
Tape Lace.—Hand-made needle lace, similar to Renaissance.
Thread Lace.—Made of linen thread, as distinguished from cotton and silk laces.
Torchon.—Coarse, open bobbin lace of stout but loosely twisted thread in very simple patterns. Much seen in imitations, usually in narrow widths.
Van Dyke Points.—Applied to laces with a border made in large points.
Valenciennes.—Commonly called Val. Bobbin lace, seen mostly in cheap insertions and in the form of narrow edgings.
Venetian Point.—Point de Venise. Needlepoint lace in floral pattern with the designs very close together and connected by brides ornamented with picots.
Wood Fiber.—Applied to all laces made of wood silk.
Yak.—Machine-made worsted lace. Used for trimming for shawls, petticoats, and undergarments.
Youghal.—Needlepoint lace of coarse thread, made exclusively in Ireland.
Ypres.—Bobbin lace, somewhat coarser than Val.
Albatross. Cotton albatross cloth is a fabric made in imitation of a worsted fabric of the same name. It has a fleecy surface. The name is taken from the bird whose downy breast the finish of the fabric resembles. The warp is usually 28s cotton, the filling 36s cotton. It is a plain weave. Filling and warp count 48 picks per inch. The goods are finished by being burled, sheared, washed, singed, dyed, rinsed, dried, and pressed, care being taken not to press too hard. Sometimes singeing is omitted. Albatross cloth is generally in white, black, or solid colors. It is not often printed. It is light in weight, and is used for dress goods.
Awning. A cotton cloth used as a cover to shelter from sun rays.
Batiste. Batiste is of French origin, and is a light, transparent cloth, made from a fine quality of combed cotton yarn. There is a gradual variation in quality ranging from a comparatively coarse to a very fine fabric. The variety of qualities will suggest some idea of the utility of the fabric. Its uses are even more varied than are the qualities. The finer grades are used for dress goods and all kinds of lingerie for summer wear, etc., while the cheaper grades are used for linings in washable and unwashable shirt waists. Batiste is woven in the gray, that is, with yarn direct from the spinning frame, with the exception that the warp yarn is well sized, in order to stand better the strain to which it is subjected during the weaving process.
Bourrette. A light weight, single cloth fabric, with two-ply cotton warp and wool or a combination of cotton and shoddy filling, made with the plain weave and in appearance a semi-rough-faced woolen fabric with fancy effects in twist scattered about it. It is used principally for ladies' fall suitings.
Bedford Cord. This is one of the most popular types of fabrics, the distinguishing effect being a line or cord running lengthwise of the cloth, the cord being more or less prominent. The cloth is made of cotton, or sometimes of worsted. The face effect of the Bedford cord is generally plain. Occasionally twill-faced cords are used. The cords vary in width from about one twentieth to one quarter of an inch. To get extra weight without altering the appearance of the face, extra warp yarns, termed wadding ends, are inserted between the face weave and the filling, floating at the back of the rib. When these wadding ends are coarse, they give a pronounced rounded appearance to the cord. They run from 88 to 156 picks to an inch.
Buckram. Buckram is derived from Bokhara. It may be described as a coarse, glue-sized fabric, and is made of cotton, hemp, linen, or cotton and hair (coarse) yarns, usually from 10s to 25s. Made of a double cloth warp, 22s cotton, 34 picks to the inch, for the face or top fabric 1/12's; weight from loom 2.22 ozs. per yard. Bottom fabric 1/12's cotton; filling 1/16's cotton; 12 picks to the inch. Weight per yard, 1.8 ounces. These fabrics depend a great deal on the finishing. The men's wear requires less sizing on account of the hair it contains. The goods are piece dyed. Buckram is used principally for stiffening garments, and to give them shape or form. It is placed between the lining and the surface cloth of the garment in particular parts, such as the lapels, etc. It is used in the millinery trade, and is made into hats. Millinery buckram is sized two or three times.
Calico takes its name from Calicut, a city in India, where cloth was first printed. The majority of inexpensive cotton fabrics are constructed on the one up, one down system, or plain weave. Calico is no exception to this rule. The printed designs on calicoes may be somewhat elaborate or they may be simple geometrical figures. In order, however, to comply with the true principles of art, such fabrics as calicoes should have but simple geometrical figures for their ornamental features. New styles and combinations of colors are produced every month and faster and lighter color printed each season. Most of the designs for calicoes and cotton cloth printing are made in Paris. At present the steam styles are most prominent; they are the fastest and lightest to be obtained. Calico is a printed cloth, the printing being done by a printing machine which has a rotating impression cylinder on which the design has been stamped or cut out. The cloth in passing through the machine comes in contact with the impression cylinder. The cylinder revolving in a color trough takes up the color and leaves the impression of the design on the cloth. Calicoes may be seen in almost any color. The printing machine is capable of printing several colors in one design. Calicoes, however, are usually in two colors, that is, one color for ground and the other for figure. The ground color in most cases is effected by dyeing the cloth in some solid color. After the cloth is dyed the design is printed on it. The cloth, after it comes from the loom, is singed and bleached, then sheared and brushed to take away all the lint, and then sent to the dye house. The first process there is to boil it, after which it is immersed in the dye tub. Calicoes are usually given what may be termed a "cheap cotton dye." By "cheap cotton dye" is meant that the colors are not fast, but will run or fade when subjected to water. After the fabric is dyed, it is given to the printer, who ornaments the face of the cloth with some geometrical design; then it is practically ready for the merchant. After printing, the cloth is dried and steamed to fix the color, afterwards soaped, washed, finished, and folded. The printing machine turns out about 400 to 800 fifty-yard pieces a day. Calico is used for inexpensive dresses, shirtwaists, wrappers, etc.
Cambric. Cambric is a heavy, glazed cotton fabric with a smooth finish. It was first made in Cambrai, France. It has a plain weave and a width of thirty-six inches. Cambrics are dyed in a jig machine. After dyeing they are run through a mangle containing the sizing substance, then dried, dampened, and run through a calender machine. The glossy effect is obtained in this last finishing process. Cambric is used for shirtwaists, dress goods, etc. The finer grades are made from hard twisted cotton of good quality.
Canvas. This is a term applied to heavy, plain weave cloths made with ply cotton yarn. They are used for mail bags, covering for boats, etc.
Chambray. Chambray is a staple fabric of many years standing, being next in rank among cotton goods after the better grade of gingham. Chambray is a light-weight single cloth fabric that is always woven with a plain weave, and always has a white selvedge. In effect it is a cloth having but one color in the warp, and woven with a white filling, this combination producing a solid color effect, the white filling reducing any harshness of warp color in the cloth. It is composed of one warp and one filling, either all cotton, cotton and silk, or all silk. It is twenty-seven to thirty inches in width and single 30s cotton warp to single 60s silk, the count of yarn being governed by the weight per yard desired. The weight per finished yard is two to three and one-half ounces. Good colors for the warp are navy blue, dark brown, lavender, black, nile green, etc. When made of cotton warp and filling the fabric receives a regular gingham finish. The loom width can be restored by tentering or running the goods over a machine fitted underneath with a series of coils of steam pipe. The top of this machine is fitted with an endless chain with a row of steel needles standing erect upon its face. Chains are adjusted to the width desired, and as the machine runs, both selvedges are caught by the needles and the cloth stretched to the required width.
Cheese Cloth. This is a thin cotton fabric of light weight and low counts of yarn, which ranks among the cheapest in cotton goods. It is used for innumerable purposes. The bleached fabric is used for wrapping cheese and butter after they are pressed. It is also much in demand for bunting for festival occasions, light curtains, masquerade dresses, etc. When used for bunting, draperies, and the like it is usually in colors, red, blue, cream, and yellow seeming to have the greatest demand. The weave is one and one or plain weave.
Chine. Sometimes applied to glace silk, or cotton two-toned effects. The name is French, meaning woven so as to have a mottled effect.
Chintz. Printed cotton cloth, with large, many-colored designs, used for furniture covering. The Hindoo wears it as a body covering. Chintz is the Hindoo word meaning variegated.
Cotton Flannel. Napped cotton flannel. Made first for trade in Canton, China.
Crash. A plain fabric for outing suits, towels, etc.
Crepe. A fine, thin fabric of open texture made of cotton.
Crepon. Large designs in figured crepe. The name applies to the crispiness of the finish and is from the French word creper, to make crisp.
Cretonne. Heavy cotton cloth printed in large designs, for drapery and furniture use. Cretonne was a Frenchman who first made the cloth.
Crinoline. Crinoline is a fabric composed of cotton warp, horsehair filling, or all cotton yarns. It is sold in varying widths, and is used by tailors and dress-makers in stiffening clothing. It is a cheap cloth of low texture and simple construction, the distinguishing feature being the stiff finish with either a dull or highly glazed face on the cloth.
Damask. A cloth of silk and cotton, silk and linen, silk and wool, or all linen in flowered or geometrical designs for drapery or table covering. The weaves used are mostly twills and sateens. It takes its name from Damascus, where it was first made.
Denim. This is a strong fabric usually made with a two up and one down twill. It is used for overalls, furniture covering, and floor covering.
Diaper. A figured cotton or linen fabric, which gets its name from the Greek diapron, meaning figured. It is generally of good quality as it is subject to excessive washing.
Dimity. A light-weight cotton fabric, the distinguishing feature of which is the cords or ribs running warpwise through the cloth, and produced by doubling the warp threads in either heddle or reed in sufficient quantity to form the rib desired. The name is from a Greek word meaning two-threaded. Dimity is a ladies' summer dress fabric, and is made of regular cotton yarn, from 1/60's to the finest counts in both warp and filling. It is made in both white and colors, solid white being used in the most expensive grades. Colors are often printed upon the face of the fabric after it has been woven in the white.
Domet. This cloth is napped similar to a cotton flannel. It is used for shirts, pajamas, etc., and made with bright colored stripes and check patterns. The name is from domestic, home made.
Duck. Duck is a heavy single cloth fabric made of coarse two-ply yarn and of a plain weave. It derives its name from its resemblance to a duck's skin. It is of a lighter weight than canvas. In finishing duck is taken from the loom and washed and sized, then dried and pressed. If a fancy solid color is desired the goods are dyed in the piece after the first washing. Duck is used in the manufacture of sails, tents, car curtains, and for any purpose requiring a good water-tight fabric, which will withstand rough usage. Duck has a stiff hard feel, and excellent wearing qualities. The lighter weights are used for ladies' shirtwaist suits, men's white trousers, etc.
Drill. A cotton fabric of medium weight generally made with the two up and one down twill. It is extensively used for shoe linings.
Eolienne is the name applied to a fine dress fabric characterized by having the filling of a much coarser count than the warp, thus producing a corded effect across the breadth of the goods. This class of goods is made up of a raw silk warp and either cotton or worsted filling, with the warp ends per inch greatly in excess of picks per inch. The goods are made up in gray, then dyed in the piece in any color the trade desires. The darker shades find most favor for fall and winter use, while the lighter shades are preferred for summer wear. The width is from twenty-seven to fifty inches, and the price per yard varies from 85 cents to $1.25.
Etamine. An etamine is a thin, glossy fabric used principally for women's dress goods. Being a common and popular material for summer wear, it is usually made as a piece-dyed fabric. A good reason for making it piece-dyed is that this method is much cheaper than if the yarn is dyed previous to the weaving. Etamines were originally made with worsted yarns, which of course are more expensive; however, if a good quality of cotton is used, there is little difference in appearance between worsted and cotton etamine. The difference is chiefly in the wearing quality, worsted being more durable. The principal characteristic of an etamine is a crisp, glossy, and open structure.
Flannelette is a narrow, light-weight fabric composed of all cotton yarn, the filling being soft spun to permit of the raising of a very slight nap on the back of the goods. The cloth is woven with bleached yarn (warp and filling), the color effects being afterwards printed upon the face of the goods by the printing machine. Flannelette is made with simple one or two colored stripe patterns, either black and white or indigo blue and white, and in imitation of a Jacquard pattern. The finished fabrics are sold by the retailer at from eight cents to twelve and one-half cents per yard, are twenty-seven inches wide, and are used very extensively in the manufacture of ladies' wrappers, kimonos, etc., for house wear.
Fustian. A corded fabric made on the order of corduroy and used in England for trouserings, etc. First made at Fustat, a town on the Nile, near Cairo. Velveteen and cordings in the lower, coarser grades were sometimes called Fustian.
Galatea Cloth. Galatea cloth has been somewhat in demand in recent years by women requiring serviceable and neat-appearing cotton fabrics at a medium price. It is usually finished twenty-seven inches wide and retails at fourteen cents to twenty cents per yard. It is shown in plain colors as well as in figures, and in dotted and striped designs on white and colored grounds. The patterns are obtained by printing. Some manufacturers have found that they can take a standard type of fabric and extend its use by varying the process of finishing. The base of the cloth—that is, the fabric previous to dyeing or printing or bleaching—is nothing more than an ordinary 5-end warp sateen of fair quality.
Gauze. A veiling net, made in Gaza in Palestine.
Gingham. Gingham is a single cloth composed entirely of cotton, and always woven with a plain weave. It is yarn-dyed in stripes or checks and was originally of Indian make. It is the most widely known fabric on the market and is made in various grades, having from fifty to seventy-six ends per inch in the reed, and of 1/26's to 1/40's cotton yarns in both warp and filling. It is a wash fabric, made in both check and plaid patterns into which an almost unlimited variety of color combinations are introduced. Ginghams are made with from two colors, warp and filling, to eight colors in warp and six in filling. Ginghams are used most commonly in the manufacture of ladies' and children's summer dresses and aprons.
Italian Cloth is a light, glossy fabric made from cotton and worsted, cotton and wool, cotton and mohair, and all cotton. It is used for linings for the heavier styles of ladies' dresses, also for underskirts, fancy pillow backs, etc. The cloth is woven in the gray undyed yarns. In the finer grades the warp is sized so as to facilitate the weaving process.
Jaconet. A thin cotton fabric, heavier than cambric. If properly made one side is glazed. Derived from the French word jaconas.
Khaki. Twilled cotton cloth of a brown dust color, first used for men's clothing in India. The word khaki is Indian for earth, or dust-colored.
Lawn. Lawn is a light-weight single cloth wash fabric, weighing from one and one fourth to two and one fourth ounces per yard, and in widths from thirty-six to forty inches finished. It is composed of all cotton yarns (bleached) from 1/40's to 1/100's, and is always woven with a plain weave, one up, one down. The name is from Laon, a place near Rheims, France, where lawn was extensively made. Plain lawn is made of solid white or bleached yarn in both warp and filling. The fancier grades, or those having color effects, are produced by printing vines, floral stripes, small flowers, etc., in bright colors in scattered effects on the face of the goods. The patterns are always printed, never woven. Lawn, when finished, should have a soft, smooth feel. Therefore the finishing process includes brushing, very light starching or sizing, then calendering or pressing. Lawns have to be handled carefully in the bleaching process, starched with an ordinary starch mangle (the sizing containing a little blueing), finished on the Stenter machine, and dried with hot air. Lawns are often tinted light shades of blue, pink, cream, pearl, green, and other light tints, with the direct colors added to the starch. It is used principally in the manufacture of ladies' and children's summer dresses, sash curtains, etc.
Lingerie. This relates to all sorts of ladies' and children's undergarments, such as skirts, underskirts, infants' short dresses, chemises, night robes, drawers, corset covers, etc.
Linon is a fine, closely woven plain fabric, well known for its excellent wearing and washing qualities. It is made from combed cotton yarns of long-stapled stocks to resemble as closely as possible fine linen fabrics. The cloth structure is firmly made in the loom.
Long Cloth is a fine cotton fabric of superior quality, made with a fine grade of cotton yarn of medium twist. Originally the fabric was manufactured in England, and subsequently imitated in the United States. The fabric is used for infants' long dresses, from which it derives its name, and for lingerie. Long cloth to some extent resembles batiste, fine muslins, India linen, and cambric. It is distinguished from these fabrics by the closeness of its weave, and when finished the fabric possesses a whiter appearance, due to the closeness of the weave and the soft twist of the yarn. It is not used as a dress fabric, chiefly because of its finished appearance, which is similar in all respects to fabrics which we have been accustomed to see used solely for lingerie, nightgowns, etc.
Madras is a light-weight single cloth fabric, composed of all cotton or cotton and silk, and has excellent wearing qualities. It was at first a light-colored checked or striped plain-faced cotton-silk fabric, made in Madras, India, for sailors' head-dress. It is twenty-seven inches wide, and is made of varying grades, weighing from two to three ounces per yard, and is used at all seasons of the year. It is used by ladies for summer skirts, shirtwaists, suits, etc., and by men in shirts. It is known by the white and colored narrow-stripe warp effects, and is made of cotton yarns ranging from 1/26 to 1/80 warp and filling, and from 50 to 100 or more ends per inch. The utility of madras for nearly all classes of people permits the greatest scope in creating both harmonious and contrasting color and weave combinations.
The colors most in demand in this fabric are rich and delicate shades of blue, rose, green, linen, tan, lavender, and bright red; for prominent hair-line effects black, navy blue, dark green, royal blue, and cherry red. Good fast color is necessary as it is a wash fabric. If inferior colors are used, they will surely spread during the finishing processes, and will cause a clouded stripe where a distinct one was intended.
Moreen. Heavy mohair, cotton, or silk and cotton cloth, with worsted or moire face. The making of moreen is interesting. The undyed cloth is placed in a trough in as many layers as will take the finish. This finish is imparted to the cloth by placing between the layers sheets of manila paper; the contents of the trough are then saturated with water; a heavy weighted roller is then passed over the wetted paper and cloth, the movement of the roller giving the cloth a watered face. It can then be dyed and refinished. The design or marking of moreen is different on every piece. Moreen was at first made for upholstery and drapery use. It was found to give a rustling sound similar to silk, so was taken up for underskirts. The name is from the French moire, meaning watering.
Mull. A soft cotton muslin of fine quality, made first in India, later in Switzerland. The name in Hindoo is mal, meaning soft, pliable.
Mummy. A plain weave of flax or linen yarn. Originally the winding cloth of the Egyptian mummified dead.
Muslin. A fine cotton cloth of plain weave originally made in Mosul, a city on the banks of the Tigris, in Asia.
Nainsook. Nainsook is a light cotton fabric utilized for various purposes, such as infants' clothes, women's dress goods, lingerie, half curtains, etc. The striped and plaid nainsook are used for the same purposes. When the fabric is required for lingerie and infants' clothes the English fabric is selected because of its softness. When intended for dress or curtain fabric, the French-finished fabric is chosen. The latter finish consists of slightly stiffening and calendering the cloth. The fabric may be distinguished from fine lawns, fine batiste, and fine cambric by the fact that it has not as firm construction or as much body, and the finish is not as smooth or as stiff, but inclines to softness, as the fabric has not the body to retain the finishing material.
Organdie. An organdie may be defined as a fine, translucent muslin used exclusively for dress goods. The fabric is made in a variety of qualities as regards the counts of yarn used, and in a variety of widths ranging from eighteen to sixty inches. The plain organdie is popular in pure white, although considerable quantities are dyed in the solid colors, pale blue, pink, etc., while the figured organdies are usually bleached pure white, then printed with small floral designs. The printed design is in from two to four colors, and in delicate shades in conformity with the material. Organdie considered in relation to cost as wearing material is rather expensive. The reason for this is that it has a finish peculiar to itself, so that when washed it does not have the same appearance as before. It loses its crisp feeling altogether.
Osnaburg. A coarse cloth of flax and tow, made in America of cotton, in checks or plaids, and used for furniture covering and mattress making. The town of Osnaburg, in Germany, made the fabric first.
Percale. Percale is a closely woven fabric made with a good quality of cotton yarn. The finer qualities are used for handkerchiefs, aprons, etc., and when used for these purposes are not printed, but bleached after the fabric comes from the loom. Percale is chiefly used for dress fabrics, and when used for this purpose is generally printed on one side with geometrical figures, generally black, although other colors may be seen. The fabric is bleached before it is subjected to the printing operations.
Percaline. Percaline is a highly finished and dressed percale. The first process to which the cloth is subjected is to boil it off, that is, to soak it in boiling water so as to relieve it from foreign matter that it may have gathered during the weaving, and at the same time to prepare it for dyeing. After dyeing it is sized to stiffen it, and also to increase the gloss on the cloth. After sizing it is ready for the calender. In order to give it the highest gloss the cloth is doubled lengthwise or the pieces are put together back to back, and as it passes through the rolls it is wet by steam, the rolls being well heated and tightly set together. Percaline is used chiefly for feminine wearing apparel, principally for linings, petticoats, etc. These purposes require that the cloth shall be solid color, the darker colors being preferred, as blue, green, and black. Sometimes it is seen in lighter shades of brown and tan. The most attention is given to the finishing process.
Pique. Pique is a heavy cotton material woven in corded or figured effects. The goods are used for such purposes as ladies' tailor-made suits, vestings, shirt fronts, cravats, bedspreads, and the like. It was originally woven in diamond-shaped designs to imitate quilting. The name is French for quilting. The plainest and most common fabrics of pique are those in which the pattern consists of straight cords extending across the cloth in the direction of the weft. In the construction of these fabrics, both a face and back warp are required, and the cords are produced by all the back warp threads being raised at intervals of six, eight, or more picks over two or more picks of the face cloth, which has a tendency to draw down on the surface of the fabric. The goods are always woven white and no colors are ever used. The face warp threads are generally finer than the back warp threads, and are in the proportion of two threads for the face and one thread for the back. On the heavier and better grades of pique coarse picks called wadding are used to increase the weight, and also to give more prominence to the cord effect. They are introduced between the face and back cloths. In the lightest and cheapest grades neither any wadding nor back picks are used. In this case the back warp threads float on the back of the fabric except when raising over the face picks to form the cord. In the figured pique the binding of the back warp threads into the face cloth is not done in straight lines as in plain pique, but the binding points are introduced so as to form figures. These fabrics are woven in the white, and the figures are purely the result of binding the face and back cloths together.
Poplin. Poplin or popeline is a name given to a class of goods distinguished by a rib or cord effect running width way of the piece. It referred originally to a fabric having a silk warp and a figure of wool filling heavier than the warp. At the present time it refers more to a ribbed fabric than to one made from any particular combination of materials. Cotton poplin is usually made with a plain weave, the rep effect being obtained either by using a fine warp as compared with the filling, or a large number of ends as compared with picks per inch on both. Irish poplin is a light-weight variety of poplin, sometimes called single poplin, and is celebrated for its uniformly fine and excellent wearing qualities. It is principally made in Dublin.
Plumetis. Sheer cotton or woolen cloth having raised dots or figures in relief on plain ground. The design shows a feathery effect, as in embroidery tambour. The name is French for this kind of embroidery, and is derived from plume, French for feather.
Rep. A fabric having a surface of a cord-like appearance. The name is probably corrupted from rib. It is used in making shirtwaists and skirts.
Sateen. Twilled cotton cloth of light weight, finished to imitate silk satin. There are two kinds, viz., warp sateen and filling sateen.
Scrim. Open mesh weave of cotton or linen for curtains and linings. The name is from scrimp, referring to economy in weaving.
Silesia is a light-weight single cloth fabric, having a rather high texture, and weighing about three ounces per yard. It is composed of all cotton yarn, and is used principally as a lining for ladies' and men's clothing. Silesia is woven of yarn in the gray state, and is dyed in the piece in such colors as black, dark blue, brown, drab, slate, steel, etc. An important feature is the highly glazed or polished face of the goods, which is due to the action of the heated roller in the calendering machine upon the sizing.
Souffle. The largest designs of crepon show a raised or puffed appearance. Souffle is from the French and means puffed.
Swiss. From Switzerland, where the plain Swiss net and figured cambric is a specialty in the St. Gall district.
Tape. Tape is a narrow fabric composed either of cotton or linen yarns in warp and filling, and usually made with a point or broken twill weave, the break in the weave occurring in the center of the tape, and the twill lines running in a right- and left-hand direction. It is used as a trimming in the manufacture of clothing, also as a binding in innumerable cases, and is sold by the roll, each roll containing a certain number of yards. It is made of all bleached and of regular yarns about 1/26's to 1/30's and 1/40's cotton.
Tarletan. An open mesh of coarse cotton, used mostly in fruit packing, sometimes for dress and drapery. The name is from tarlantanna, Milanese for coarse weave of linen and wool.
Terry Cloth or Turkish Toweling is a cotton pile fabric. It is woven in such a way as to permit the forming of a series of loops on each side of the cloth in regular order. After leaving the loom each piece is laid separately in the bleaching kier. Then the goods are dried on a tenter frame, given a light starching to add weight, run through a rubber rolled mangle and again dried on a tenter frame. This cloth is used in the manufacture of towels, Turkish bath robes, etc. Turkish toweling is the original terry. The name is from the French tirer, to draw or pull.
Zephyr Gingham is the finest grade of gingham made and is a light-weight cotton fabric, composed of 1/40's to 1/60's cotton warp and filling yarns. It is woven with either the plain weave or a small all-over dobby effect. It is made in attractive patterns by using good fast colors in warp and filling, and as a cloth has excellent wearing qualities.
 This information is from the leading authority, "The Cotton Fabrics Glossary," published by the American Wool and Cotton Reporter, Boston, Mass., and is reprinted here through the kindness of Mr. Frank P. Bennett.
 1/12's cotton signifies single cotton yarn of 12's. 2/12's cotton signifies two sets of single cotton yarn of 12's twisted together.
Flax. Flax or linen occupies the first position in the group of stem fibers, being not only the oldest, but next to cotton the most important vegetable spinning material known. Its value is increased by the fact that the flax plant readily adapts itself to various conditions of soil and climate, and in consequence has gained access to northerly districts and cool highlands. Although flax has lost some of its importance from the successful competition of cotton, nevertheless it still forms one of the chief articles of an industry which merits all the care bestowed on its cultivation and proves highly profitable.
The Physical Structure of Flax. Flax, when seen under the microscope, looks like a long, cylindrical tube of uniform thickness, with lumina so small as to be visible only as straight black lines lengthwise of the fiber, and frequently exhibits small transverse cracks. It is never twisted like cotton fiber. Its color varies from pale yellow to steel gray or greenish tints. The difference in color is due chiefly to the process of "retting." Its average length is about twenty inches, and its tensile strength is superior to that of cotton. It will absorb moisture, 12 per cent being the standard allowance made.
Flax is used for making linen thread and cloth, yarn, twist, string fabric, and lace. In its composition it is almost purely an unlignified cellulose, and its specific gravity is 1.5.
Flax is a better conductor of heat than cotton, hence linen goods always feel colder than cotton goods.
Russia produces more than one-half the world's supply of flax, but that from Belgium and Ireland is of the best quality. Italy, France, Holland, and Egypt are other important producers. The plant is an annual, of delicate structure, and is gathered just before it is ripe, the proper time being indicated by the changing of the color from green to brown. At the time of gathering the whole plant is uprooted, dried on the ground, and finally rippled with iron combs, to separate the stalks from the leaves, lateral shoots, and seeds.
The best fiber amounts to about 75 per cent of the stalk. To separate this valuable commercial product from the woody matter the stalks are first subjected to a process termed retting, which is steeping them in water until they are quite soft. Then follow the mechanical processes to further the production of the fiber and free it from all useless matter.
These are as follows:
1. Crushing or Beating. This consists of breaking the woody matter with the aid of mallets or in stamping mills.
2. Breaking. This is passing the stalks through a series of horizontal rollers to break further the woody matter and at the same time separate the greater part of it from the fiber.
3. Scutching. The object of this process is to remove completely the woody matter, and it is done by means of rapidly revolving wooden arms or blades, which beat the firmly held flax until it is sufficiently cleaned and separated.
4. Hackling. The scutched flax is drawn through iron combs which still further open the fiber. Fineness of fiber depends upon the number of times it is hackled, each time with a finer and finer instrument, which secures the different degrees of subdivision. Then the fibers are sorted and classified as to length and quality and laid in parallel forms ready for spinning and manufacture into linen.
Bleaching. Linen is bleached in the form of yarn, thread, and cloth. This is a difficult and long process owing to the large amount of natural impurities present in flax fiber, and the difficulty of removing or dissolving them. Bleaching is now done as a rule by chemical processes, and when chemicals are used great care must be taken about their strength and about the time the cloth is allowed to remain in them. In olden times sour buttermilk was applied to linen and rubbed in, and then bleaching was finished out of doors by sun and rain. "Unbleached" linen is treated in the same way as bleached, only the process is not carried to such an extent. In Ireland, famous for its bleaching, chemicals are used in the earlier stages of this process, and then fine linens are spread out on the grass to improve their color, and to purge them completely of any chemicals used. After bleaching, linen is washed, dried, starched, and put through heavy machines to give it a glossy finish, and it is then made up in pieces for sale.
Characteristics of Good Linen. Linen is noted for its smoothness of texture, its brilliancy—which laundering increases—its wearing qualities, and its exquisite freshness. The celebrated Irish linen is the most valuable staple in the market, and on account of its fineness and strength, and particularly its bright color, it attains an unapproachable excellence because the best processes are used throughout the entire manufacture. Linen is less elastic and pliable than cotton and bleaches and dyes readily.
Flax from all countries is woven into table linen, though very fine linen must have carefully prepared fiber. Linen should be soft, yielding, and elastic, with almost a leathery feel. Fineness of linen does not always determine good wearing qualities.
Good linen ranges in price from 75 cents to $3.00. Irish linen has a good bleach. French and Belgian linens, while fine in thread, are not as serviceable as Irish linen. Germany makes a good wearing linen, but not a large variety of patterns. Scotch linens are now used more than other kinds.
Sources of Flax
Russia, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Canada, U. S. (for seed only).
Sources of Manufactured Linens
Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Russia, United States.
Damasks and Napkins Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium.
Towelings Scotland, Ireland, Germany, United States, Russia.
Glass Checks Ireland.
Canvas Scotland, Ireland.
Handkerchief Lawns, Cambrics, and Laces Ireland, Germany, France.
Towels Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Austria, U. S. (union).
Linen Sheetings Ireland, Belgium, France, Scotland.
Blouse or Dress Linens Ireland, Scotland.
Bleached Waist Linens Ireland, France, Belgium.
Fancy Linens, Doylies, etc. Germany, France, Japan, Madeira Islands, Island of Teneriffe.
 The stem fibers such as flax, jute, ramie are called bast fibers, and before any of them can be utilized industrially, steps have to be taken to render them free from gum. When the stems of these plants are severed, the juice tends to oxidize through contact with the air and forms a gum of a peculiarly tenacious character.
Hemp is a fiber that is obtained from the hemp plant. It grows principally in Russia, Poland, France, Italy, Asia, India, the Philippines, Japan, and some parts of the United States—Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and New York. The original country of the hemp plant was doubtless Asia, probably that part near the Caspian Sea. The preparatory treatment is similar to that for the flax plant, except that most of the work is done by machinery. Considered chemically, in addition to cellulose, hemp fiber contains a considerable amount of woody matter, differing in this respect from cotton. Its properties are color (pearl gray, with green or yellow tints), fineness (which depends upon the quality of the hemp; it is usually bought as fine as flax), and tensile strength (which is considerable and greater than that of flax). Its best qualities are its slight luster and its ability to resist to a great extent the tendency to rot under water. Owing to the fact that it is difficult to bleach, it is used chiefly in making string, cord, ropes, etc.
Sisal Hemp. Sisal hemp is a variety that grows extensively in Central America and the West Indies. The plant, the agava rigida, is similar to what is known in this country as the century plant. The fiber is found in the leaves which closely surround the stalks. The common hemp on the other hand is found closely surrounding the woody part of the stem. The fiber of Sisal hemp is obtained by scraping away the fleshy part of the leaves with large wooden knives or by machines.
Manila Hemp. Manila hemp is obtained in the Philippines. The plant belongs to the banana family and grows as large as a small tree. The hemp is obtained from the leaf stalks which appear to form the trunk of the tree. The fiber is larger, not so stiff, but stronger than Sisal hemp. The fiber of Russian hemp is the strongest; that of Italian hemp the finest.
Jute. Jute is the name given to the fibers found in certain plants which grow principally in India, and the East Indian Islands. The common jute comes principally from the province of Bengal, India, where it was first known to science in 1725. The term jute was first applied to the fiber by Dr. Rosburgh in 1795. The plant is cut just about the time when it appears in full flower. The stalks are then bundled and retted by steeping in pools of stagnant water.
Jute occupies third position in importance of vegetable fibers in the manufacturing scale, being inferior to cotton and flax. Hemp is stronger than jute. Jute becomes weak when exposed to dampness.
It is extensively used for mixing with silk, cotton, flax, hemp, and woolen fabrics. The coarse varieties are made into coarse fabrics—sacks, packing cloth, etc., while the finer varieties, in which the undesirable quality of growing darker with age is less apparent, are used for making carpets, curtains, and heavy plushes, for which they are very suitable.
Silk. The silk of commerce is obtained from the cocoons of several species of insects. These insects resemble strongly the ordinary caterpillars. At a certain period of its existence the silkworm gives off a secretion of jelly-like substance. This hardens on exposure to the air as the worm forces it out and winds it about its body.
It takes about three days for the worm to form the cocoon. After the cocoon has been formed the silkworm passes from the form of a caterpillar into a moth which cuts an opening through the cocoon and flies away. It is very important that the moth should not be allowed to escape from the cocoon; the mere breaking of the cocoon greatly decreases the value of the thread. The cocoon is preserved by killing the chrysalis by heat.
There are a great many varieties of caterpillars, but few of them secrete a sufficient quantity of silk to render them of commercial value. The principal species is the mulberry silkworm which produces most of the silk in commerce. It is cultivated and fed on mulberry leaves. There are other varieties of silkworms that are not capable of being cultivated and are called wild silkworms. The silk produced by the wild worms of China and India is called "tussah" (or "tussur"). The silk is inferior to that produced by the cultivated worms and is used for making pile fabrics, such as velvet, plush, etc.
The color of the cocoons varies greatly. Most of the European cocoons are bright yellow, though some are white. The Eastern cocoons, on the other hand, are mostly white, while a few are yellow. The wild silks are for the most part ecru color, though some are pale green. The color, except in the wild silks, is derived from the gum which is secreted by the worm, and with which the fibers are stuck together. This gum comprises from 15 to 30 per cent of the weight and is removed by boiling in soap and water before the silk is dyed. All silks except the wild silks, after the gum is removed, are from white to cream in color. The tussah, or wild silks, remain an ecru color.
The greatest care has to be exercised throughout in the care of the moths, eggs, worms, and cocoons—this being the succession of changes. That is, the moth lays eggs which are collected and kept cool till the proper season for incubation. They are then kept warm during the time occupied in hatching, sometimes about the person of the raiser. After a time these eggs hatch out worms, tiny things hardly larger than the head of a pin. After the worms are hatched they require constant care and feeding with chopped mulberry leaves till they reach maturity. They are then about three inches in length, and spin their cocoons from a fiber and gum which they secrete. When the cocoons are spun the worms become chrysalises inside of them. The cocoons are then collected and the chrysalises killed, generally by heat, before they can again become moths.
Raw Silk. The cocoons are next sent to the reelers or filatures. A number of cocoons, greater or less, according to the size of thread desired, are placed in a basin of hot water, which softens the gum. After the outside fibers are removed so that the ends run free, the ends are collected through a guide and are wound upon a reel. As the silk cools and dries, the gum hardens, sticking the fibers from the different cocoons together in one smooth thread varying in size according to the number of cocoons used. After the silk has been reeled and dried it is twisted into hanks and sent to America and other countries as raw silk.
Most of the raw silk of commerce is produced in China, Japan, and Italy. It is also produced to a large extent in Italy, Turkey, and Greece, also France and Portugal. The cultivation of silk is not only carried on by private firms, but is encouraged by the government to the extent of granting money to the manufacturers.
Various attempts have been made to raise silkworms in the United States. All have failed on account of the high price of labor necessary to feed the worms.
Throwing. The manufacture in the United States begins with raw silk. We import our raw silk chiefly from Italy, China, and Japan. It is handled here first by the "throwster," who winds it from the skein and makes various kinds of thread for different purposes.
Raw silk wound on spools in a single thread, and called singles is often used to make warps (that is, the threads running lengthwise of a piece of cloth) for piece-dyed goods, or cloth which is woven with the gum in the silk, and afterward boiled out and dyed. Singles are also sometimes used for filling (that is, cross threads) in very thin fabrics.
Silk yarn that is used for weaving is divided into two kinds, "tram" and "organzine." Tram silk is made by twisting two or more loosely twisted threads. It is heavier than organzine and is used for filling. Organzine silk is produced by uniting a number of strongly twisted threads. It is used for warp. Crepe yarn is used in making crepe, chiffon, and for other purposes. It is very hard twisted thread, generally tram, from forty to eighty turns per inch.
Embroidery silk is made by winding the raw silk, putting a large number of ends together, giving them a slack twist, then doubling and twisting in the reverse direction with a slack twist.
Sewing silk is made by winding and doubling the raw product, then twisting into tram, giving it a slack twist, doubling and twisting in the reverse direction under tension. Machine twist is similar, but three ply.
The principal fabrics made of silk are: silk, satin, plush, chenille, crepe, crepon, gauze, damask, brocade, pongee, and ribbons. Silk thread and cord are also extensively used. The United States is among the leaders in the manufacture of silk fabrics.
Silk Waste. When the cocoons are softened for reeling a certain portion of the silk is found to consist of waste and broken threads. The tangled silk on the outside of the cocoon is called floss. The residue after reeling, and other wastes in reeling, are known as frisonnets. Floss silk is not used for weaving. It is a slack twisted tram, generally composed of a large number of threads of singles.
Spun Silk. There is another class of threads made from waste silk by spinning and known as spun silk. Waste silks include the pierced cocoons, that is, those from which the moth has come out by making the hole and breaking the fibers in one end of the cocoon; the waste made in the filatures in producing raw or reeled silk, chiefly the outside fiber of the cocoon and the inside next the chrysalis; and also the waste made in manufacture. The waste silk is ungummed; that is, the gum is removed from the fibers by boiling with soap, by macerating or retting, or by chemical reagents.
After the gum is removed from the cocoons, they are opened and combed, most of the chrysalis shell being removed. The remainder, with other foreign matter, is picked out by hand from the combed silk. The silk is put through a number of drawing frames to get the fibers even on the roving frames, where it first takes the form of thread, then on the spinning frames, where it is twisted. If it is to be used as singles, the manufacture ends here. In two- or three-ply yarns, the singles are doubled, twisted again, singed by running through a gas flame, cleaned by friction, controlled, that is, the knots and lumps taken out, and then reeled into skeins for dyeing or put on spools.
Spun Numbers. There are two methods in general use for numbering spun silk. In the French system, the number is based on the singles, by the meters per kilogram; two and three cord yarns have one-half, one-third, etc., the length the numbers indicate. Thus—
No. 100 singles has 100,000 meters per kilogram. No. 2-100 has 50,000 meters per kilogram. No. 3-100 has 33,333 meters per kilogram.
The other system which is more generally used in this country, is the English system. The hank is 840 yards, and the number of hanks in one pound avoirdupois is the count of the yarn. It is based on the finished yarn, and singles, two or three cord yarns of the same number all have the same yards per pound. Thus—
No. 50 singles has 42,000 yards per pound. No. 50-2 has 42,000 yards per pound. No. 50-3 has 42,000 yards per pound.
Dyeing Yarns. Generally speaking there are two large classes into which silk goods may be divided, those in which the threads are colored before weaving and called yarn-dyed goods, and those dyed or printed after weaving and called piece-dyed or printed goods. In dyeing yarns, the silk is first ungummed and cleaned by boiling in soap and water, then washed in cold water. If the thread is to be weighted, as is frequently done, tin salts, iron, or other heavy material is deposited on the fiber. If carried far, this is injurious, making the silk tender and weak. Sometimes there is more weighting than silk. Yarns are usually dyed in hot liquors, aniline colors being the ones in most common use to-day, though other dyes are used for special purposes. Some yarns are dyed in the gum, and some with a part of the gum left in. After dyeing, they are washed in cold water, dried, and wound on spools.
Silk Dyeing. Silk occupies in several respects an intermediate position between the animal and vegetable fibers. Like wool, it is a highly nitrogenous body, but contains no sulphur. It readily takes up many of the colors which can be worked upon vegetable fiber by the aid of the mordants. This is particularly the case with reference to a large number of aniline colors, which require merely to be dissolved and mixed with perfectly clear water in the dye vessel. The great attraction of silk for these colors simplifies silk dyeing exceedingly. The sad colors, on the other hand, and especially black, are in many cases exceedingly complex, the main object of the dyer being not so much to color the silk as to increase its weight.
Dyeing black on silk is unquestionably the most important branch of silk dyeing, and it has probably received more attention than any other branch, in consequence of which it has been brought to a high degree of perfection. Blacks on silks are produced both from natural and artificial coloring matters, the former having, so far, retained their pre-eminence despite the recent discoveries of chemists. For various reasons coal-tar colors have never proved successful in dyeing black on silk. Since the discovery of America, logwood blacks have formed the staple of the black-silk dyer, who has carried their production to a high degree of excellence. But unfortunately, besides aiming at a high state of perfection in the actual dyeing operation, the black-silk dyer has also aimed at increasing the weight of the dyed silk, so that nowadays it is possible for him to receive ten pounds of raw silk and to send out fifty pounds of black silk, the extra forty pounds being additions made in the process of dyeing.
Logwood black-silk dyeing consists essentially of alternate dippings in separate baths with the mordant and dyestuffs suitable for producing the required color and weight. The number of dippings and the length of time taken in each operation depend on the intensity of the black wanted and the amount of weighting which is desired. The chief substances used for weighting are lead salts, catechu, iron, and nut-galls, with soap and oil to soften in some degree the harshness of the fabric which these minerals cause. As the details of the operations are practically the same for all kinds of logwood blacks (raven, jet, crape, dead black, etc.), the method for producing one will suffice for all. The process involves several distinct operations, as follows:
1. The Boiling Off. This is the removal of the gum and natural coloring matter in the silk. It is accomplished by boiling the skeins of silk in water and good olive oil soap for about one hour. This dissolves the gum and leaves the fiber clean and glossy.
2. Mordanting. This is done in a bath of nitrate of iron, in which the skeins of silk are allowed to remain one hour. The silk gains some in weight in this operation by absorbing a quantity of the iron in the bath. After having been dipped in the first bath three or four times, it is ready for the soap and iron bath, in which it is repeatedly immersed, the operation causing a deposit of iron-soap on the fiber which adds to its weight, but at the same time does not lessen its flexibility and softness. Eight dippings in the iron and soap bath increase the weight of the silk about 100 per cent.
3. Blue Bottoming. The next operation is to dye the silk blue, which is done by immersing it in a solution of potash. In this it is worked for half an hour, when it acquires a deep blue color. It is then taken out, and after rinsing is ready for the "weighting" operations.
4. "Weighting" Bath. A catechu bath is now prepared, in which the silk is entered and worked for an hour, and then allowed to steep over night. The result is that the blue on the silk is decomposed, and the goods by absorbing the tannin in the catechu increase in weight from 35 to 40 per cent. This bath is the most important one in the dyeing of "weighted" black silks, as the dyer can regulate the strength of the bath by the addition of tin crystals so as to increase the weight of the silk to an astonishing degree. The proportion of tin crystals used is regulated by the number of iron baths that have previously been given the silk; if two baths of iron have been given, 5 per cent of tin crystals are used; if four baths, 10 per cent, and so on. The action of these chemicals is somewhat complex. All that is known is that by reason of some peculiar quality possessed by silk it is enabled to combine with iron and tin, and that exposure to the air after the baths fixes these chemicals permanently upon the fibers, thus increasing their weight to almost any desired extent. Silk, according to its quality and weight, will take up of these substances from 50 to 200 per cent without creating much suspicion. Instances have been known in which silk has been increased nine times its own weight. All the operations thus far have had for their object the weighting of the silk, although the blueing and the catechu baths have some influence on the finished result. After these come the dyeing operations proper, two in number, mordanting and dyeing.
5. Mordanting. A bath of iron liquor heated to 130 degrees F. is provided. The silk is entered, worked well for one hour, then wrung out and hung up to "age" for two hours, after which it is ready for the logwood dye.
6. Dyeing. A bath of logwood liquor is prepared to which is added 10 per cent of fustic, and the solution is brought to a temperature of 150 degrees F. In this the silk is entered and worked for an hour, then taken out and wrung dry. Sometimes the black does not come up full enough, and in such cases the bath is repeated.
7. The final operation has for its object the restoration of the luster and suppleness of the silk, which has to some extent deteriorated from the many operations through which it has passed. The brightening and softening of the fiber are effected by immersing the silk in a bath of olive oil in the form of an emulsion. In this the silk is worked until it is thoroughly impregnated with the oil, when it is taken out and wrung dry, after which it is ready for the loom. Practically the same process is followed in piece dyeing, though only inferior grades of silk are dyed in the web.
Colored Silks. This class of silks is generally purer than black and sad-colored silks. It is not nearly so easy to weight the former as the latter, for the reason that there are but few substances capable of giving weight which do not interfere with the effect of light colored dyes. The weighting agents most generally used are sugar and acetate of lead. The weighting by sugar is done after the silk is dyed. A solution is made of pure lump sugar by placing it in a large copper pan with water and heating until dissolved. In this bath the silk is thoroughly saturated, and then dried and finished; or, the dipping process may be repeated several times if desired. One dipping will weight the silk about 12 per cent, two about 20 per cent, and three about 30 per cent. In a solution of acetate of lead, each dipping will weight the silk about 8 per cent, and these may be repeated as often as it is wished. In this case the weighting is generally done on the undyed, boiled-off silk, although it may be done on the dyed silk if the color is such as will stand the acid.
Mixed Silk Fabrics. Until lately silk was invariably dyed in the state of yarn. When the silk was to be woven into mixed fabrics, such as satin, gloria, etc., it was impossible to dye both fibers exactly the same shade. Formerly such fabrics were woven with the cotton and silk yarns dyed separately, care being taken to match them as closely as possible. The weaving of dyed yarns of different fibers is open to the objection that when the fabric comes to be finished there is a wide difference in the color, no matter how closely they may have matched in the beginning.
Ribbons. Ribbons are woven several pieces in one loom, with a separate shuttle for each piece. The shuttle is carried through the shed or warp by a rack and pinion, instead of being thrown through as in broad goods; otherwise the weaving is the same.