by William H. Dooley
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Velvets. Velvets and other pile fabrics are woven in two pieces, one over the other, with the pile threads woven back and forth between them. A knife travels between the two pieces cutting the pile threads so as to leave the ends standing up straight. Velvets used to be woven over wires and cut by hand, but this method is practically obsolete.

Piece Dyeing. If the goods are woven with the gum still in the silk, it must be taken out afterward, and the goods either dyed in the piece or prepared for printing.

Printing. The most primitive method of printing is by the use of stencils. It is the method employed by the Japanese and Chinese. Next came block printing, which is still extensively used in Europe. The pattern is raised in felt on wooden blocks, the color taken up from pads, one block for each color. The results are good, but the work is very slow. Most silk goods are to-day machine printed. The design is engraved or etched on copper cylinders, one cylinder for each color; the color thickened with gum is supplied by rolls running against the cylinders, and the surplus is scraped off by a knife blade, leaving only that in the engraving which is taken up by the cloth. After printing, the cloth is steamed to set the colors, and then washed in order to remove the gum used to thicken the colors for printing.

Finishing. All silk goods, whether yarn dyed or piece dyed or printed, are given some kind of finish; sometimes it is no more than is necessary to smooth out the wrinkles. There are many finishing processes by which goods may be treated. They are run through gas flames to singe off loose fiber, and over steam cylinders to dry and straighten them, over a great variety of sizing machines to stiffen them with starch or glue. There are calenders or heavy rolls to smooth and iron them, steam presses of great power to press them out, breaking and rubbing machines to soften them, and tentering machines to stretch them to uniform width. There are also moireing or watering, embossing, and various other machines for special purposes.

Waterproofing. One of the worst difficulties with which the manufacturer of piece-dyed and printed silk goods has to contend is the ease with which they become spotted with water, and for a number of years many people have tried to prevent this by various processes. There are no less than two hundred such processes patented. None of them have met with much success, as they injured the feel or strength of the goods. After goods are finished they are carefully inspected for imperfections, measured, and wrapped in paper and packed in cases for shipment. The complexity and number of processes for treating silk goods may be realized when we know that a piece-dyed or printed fabric is handled its entire length between fifty and one hundred times after it comes from the loom, sometimes even more.



Alma. Cloth, double twilled from left to right diagonally, first made in black only as a mourning fabric. The name is from the Egyptian, as applied to a mourner or a singer at a funeral.

Barege. Sheer stuff of silk and wool for veiling, named from the town of Bareges, in France.

Bengaline. An imitation of an old silk fabric made for many centuries in Bengal, India, whence the name. The weave is similar to that of ordinary rep or poplin, being a simple round-corded effect. The cord is produced by using a heavy soft-spun woolen weft which is so closely covered by the silk warp threads that it is not exposed when examined from the wrong side. The same weave is also found in all-silk goods, under the designation of all-silk bengaline. When cheapened by the use of a cotton weft in place of wool the fabric is known as cotton bengaline, although the cotton is in the filling only.

Berber. Satin-faced fabric of light-weight cloth. It came into favor about the time of the defeat of the Berbers by General Gordon in his campaign against the Mahdi in North Africa.

Brocade. Raised figures on a plain ground.

Brocatel. A kind of brocade used for draperies and upholstery; usually raised wool figures on a silk ground.

Bombazine. Silk warp, wool weft, fine twilled cloth; originally made in black only for mourning. It is used largely for mourning hat bands. The root of the name is bombyx, the Latin for silkworm.

Chenille. Cloth of a fuzzy or fluffy face; woven of cotton, silk, or wool; used sometimes for dress goods; more generally for curtains and table covers. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar, which the single thread of the cloth resembles.

Chiffon. A thin, transparent silk muslin. Although one of the thinnest and gauziest of modern silk fabrics, it is relatively strong considering its lightness. To convey an idea of the fineness of the thread used in its manufacture, it is stated that one pound of it will extend a distance of eight miles. In the process of finishing the fabric receives a dressing of pure "size." There are two styles of finish, called respectively the demi- or half size and the full size. Chiffon finished by full sizing is comparatively stiff; while the demi-finish produces a softer and lighter texture. It is dyed in a great variety of colors, and sometimes is printed in delicate patterns. It is especially adapted for home and evening wear, and is used for neck and sleeve trimming, drapery over silk foundations, fancy work, and millinery.

China Silk. A term applied to plain woven silks manufactured in China. The term China silk has been adopted in the United States in recent years for a class of machine-woven silks made in imitation of the hand-loom product. These imitations are narrow in width and lack the soft, lustrous quality of Eastern fabrics, and are also free from the uneven threads. China silks are distinguished by their irregular threads, caused by some of the threads being heavier than others, and their extreme softness.

The warp and filling are identical in size and color, and being woven evenly produce a beautiful natural luster. It is generally plain color, although the figured goods are printed in much the same manner as calico. It is used for gowns, waists, underclothing, etc. It launders as well as white cotton.

Crepe. A thin, gauzy fabric, woven in loose even threads of silk, heavily sized or gummed, crimped or creped in the dyeing. Crepe was first used in black only as a badge of mourning. It is now an accepted dress fabric, made in colors and white and of many materials. The name signifies to crimp or crepe with a hot iron.

Crepe de Chine. A soft, lustrous silk crepe, the surface of which is smoother than that of the ordinary varieties. It is woven as a plain weave with part of the warp threads right twisted and the rest left twisted. It is dyed almost any color and figured or printed.

Eolienne. Sheer cloth of silk, silk and wool, or silk and cotton, woven in fine card effect. The name comes from the Greek AEolus, god of the winds.

Foulard. Plain silk cloth, sold as dress goods; originally made for handkerchiefs only. The name is French for silk handkerchief.

Glace. Plain, lustrous silk, yarn dyed, with warp of one color, and weft of another. The name is applied to all fabrics having two tones. Glace is French for icy, having an icy appearance.

India Silk. A name applied to the plain woven silks manufactured in India on the primitive hand looms. The warp and weft are woven evenly and produce a beautiful natural luster. It is similar to China and Japanese silk. In fact most of these fabrics come from China and Japan, India silk being almost unknown in this country as so little of it is exported. The durability of these silks is about the same, and there is little difference in the prices.

Japanese Silk. A term applied to the plain woven silk manufactured in Japan. The warp and filling of this fabric are identical in size and color, and being woven evenly produce a beautiful natural luster. The weave is smooth and soft in quality. It is dyed in plain colors. The figured goods are printed in much the same way as calico. It is used for waists, gowns, and fancy underwear.

Jersey Cloth. Silk jersey cloth is popular at present. It is a knitted silk fabric, not woven, and is generally dyed in plain colors. It is expensive and is used for women's dresses, wraps, and silk gloves.

Meteor. Crepe de meteor was originally a trade name for crepe de chine, but now applied to a fabric which is distinguishable from crepe de chine.

Moire. Moire is a waved or watered effect produced upon the surface of various kinds of textile fabrics, especially on grosgrain silk and woolen moreen. This watered effect is produced by the use of engraved rollers and high pressure on carded material. The object of developing upon woven textiles the effect known as moire is the production of a peculiar luster resulting from the divergent reflection of the light rays on the material, a divergence brought about by compressing and flattening the warp and filling threads in places, and so producing a surface the different parts of which reflect the light differently. The moire effect may be obtained on silk, worsted, or cotton fabrics, though it is impossible to develop it on other than a grained or fine corded weave. The pressure applied to the material being uneven, the grained surface is flattened in the parts desired. In the Middle Ages moire was held in high esteem, and continues to enjoy that distinction down to the present day. It is used for women's dresses, capes, and for facings, trimmings, etc.

Mozambique. Grenadines, with large colored flower designs in relief.

Organzine. Silk fabric, made with warp and filling of the same size. Organzine is the name given the twisted silk thread in Italy, where it is made.

Panne. This name is applied to a range of satin-faced velvet or silk fabrics which show a high luster produced by pressure. The word panne is the French for plush.

Peau de Soie. Literally, skin of silk. A variety of heavy, soft-finished, plain-colored dress silk, woven with a pattern of fine close ribs extending weftwise of the fabric. An eight-shaft satin with one point added to the original spots on the right or left, imparting to the fabric a somewhat grainy appearance. The best grades of peau de soie present the same appearance on both sides, being reversible. The lower grades are finished on one side only.

Plush. Long piled fabric of the velvet order. Peluche, the origin of the name, is French for shaggy.

Pongee. Said to be a corruption of Chinese punchi, signifying home made or home woven. Another suggestion is that the word is a corruption of pun-shih, a native or wild silk. A soft, unbleached, washable silk, woven from the cocoons of the wild silkworm, which feeds on the leaves of the scrub oak. Immense quantities in a raw state are annually shipped from China to this country and Europe, where they are bleached, dyed, and ornamented with various styles of designs. The name is also applied to a variety of dress goods woven with a wild silk warp and a fine worsted weft.

Popeline. A French name. The French fabric is said to have been first introduced during the early part of the sixteenth century at Avignon, then a papal diocese, and to have been so called in compliment to the reigning pope. A fabric constructed with a silk warp and a filling of wool heavier than the silk which gives it a corded surface. Poplin manufacture was introduced into Ireland in 1693 by a colony of fugitive French Huguenots. The industry concentrated at Dublin, where it has since remained. The Irish product has been celebrated for its uniformly fine quality. It is always woven on hand looms, which accounts for the high price it commands in English and American markets. The wool used is a fine grade of Cape or Australian, which is the most suitable in texture and length of fiber. The silk is unweighted Chinese organzine. The result is a rich, handsome fabric resembling whole silk goods in appearance, but inferior to them in durability and produced at a much less cost. It is used for ladies' waists, wraps, and gowns.

Figured Poplin. A stout variety, ornamented in the loom with figures. The ground is composed of clear, sharp cords extending across the web. It is sometimes woven entirely of silk, but oftener of silk and wool. Used for high-class upholstery purposes, and for curtains and hangings.

Terry Poplin. A silk and wool dress fabric in the construction of which the alternate warps are thrown upon the surface in the form of minute loops.

Sarsenet. A thin, soft-finished silk fabric of a veiling kind, now used as millinery lining. The name comes from the Arab Saracens, who wore it in their head-dress.

Satin. When satin first appeared in trade in Southern Europe it was called aceytuin. The term slipped through early Italian lips into zetain, and coming westward the i was dropped, and smoothed itself into satin. There is evidence that the material was known as early as the fourteenth century in England, and probably in France and Spain previous to that time, though under other names.

In the weaving of most silk fabrics the warp and filling intersect each other every alternate time (as in plain weaving), or every third or fourth time (as in ordinary twill weaving) in regular order; but in weaving satin the fine silk warp only appears upon the surface, the filling being effectually covered up and hidden. Instead of making the warp pass under and over the filling every alternate time, or over two or three filling threads in regular order, it is made to pass over eight, ten, twelve or more filling threads; then under one and over eight more, and so on. In passing over the filling, however, the warps do not interweave at regular intervals, which would produce a twill, but at irregular intervals, thus producing an even, close, smooth surface, and one capable of reflecting the light to the best advantage. The filling of low grade satin is generally cotton, while in the better goods it is silk. Common satin is what is technically known as an eight-leaf twill, the order in which the filling thread rises being once in eight times. Rich satins may consist of sixteen-leaf to twenty-leaf twills. The cheap qualities of cotton-back satin, particularly those that sell at wholesale for fifty cents and under, are not made to any extent in this country, our manufacturers being unable to compete with foreign mills in these lines.

Satins are woven with the face downward, because in weaving, say a sixteen-leaf satin, it would be necessary, were the surface upward, to keep fifteen heddles raised and one down, whereas with the face of the cloth under, only one heddle has to be raised at a time. When first taken from the loom the face of satin is somewhat flossy and rough, and hence requires to be dressed. This operation consists of passing the pieces over heated metal cylinders which remove the minute fibrous ends, and also increase the natural brilliance of the silk. Cotton-back satins are used by coffin manufacturers, fancy box makers, fan makers, and by the cutting-up trade. Rich satins are used in making ladies' gowns and waists.

Soleil. Satin-faced cloth, woven with a fine line, a stripe running lengthwise of the piece. It is usually made in solid colors and piece dyed. Soleil is French for sun, and applies to the brightness of the finished cloth.

Taffeta. Derived from Persian taftah. Taffeta is one of the oldest weaves known, silk under this name having been in constant use since the fourteenth century. During this long period the term has been applied at different times to different materials. It is a thin, glossy silk of plain texture or woven in lines so fine as to appear plain woven. The weave is capable of many effects in the way of shot and changeable arrangements, which are produced by threads of different colors rather than by any special disposition of warp and filling. Taffeta has the same appearance on both sides. It is piece dyed in numberless plain colors, and also produced in a great variety of ornamental patterns, such as fancy plaids, cords, and stripes (both printed and woven). The following considerations contribute chiefly to the perfection of taffetas, viz.: the silk, the water, and the fire. The silk must not only be of the finest kind, but it must be worked a long time before it is used. The watering, which is given lightly by any acidulous fluid, is intended to produce the fine luster, and lastly, the fire and pressure which have a particular manner of application. Its wearing qualities are not of the best. The cloth cracks or breaks, especially if plaited. It is used for gowns, shirtwaists, linings, petticoats, etc.

Tulle. Openwork silk net; made on the pillow as lace by young women of Tulle, France.

Velour. French for velvet. A trade term of somewhat loose application, being used indiscriminately to describe a great variety of textures so constructed or finished as to present a velvet-like surface. It is usually a velvety fabric made of coarse wool yarn and silk. Velour is woven with a coarse stiff pile after the manner of plush; while at present it is made of jute, cotton, and worsted, it was originally constructed of linen. It is produced in numberless forms, both plain and in fancy effects.

Velvet. From the Italian velluto, feeling woolly to the touch, as a woolly pelt or hide. Fine velvet is made wholly of silk.

Velveteen. An imitation velvet, made of cotton, usually with plain back, not twilled, as silk velvet.

Tabby Velvet. The lowest grade of cotton velvet, used for covering cheap coffin lining cases, sold by the inch in widths which range from sixteen to thirty-two inches. Originally made in Bagdad for wall covering, its name being derived from a section of that city.

Voile. From the French voile, meaning a veil, a light fabric usually more or less transparent, intended to conceal the features in whole or in part or to serve as a screen against sunlight, dust, insects, etc., or to emphasize or preserve the beauty. The custom of wearing veils had its origin in the early ages in the desire of semi-savage man to hide away the woman of his choice, and is a survival of the ancient custom of hiding women that is found even down to the present day in Eastern countries. Voile is a transparent, wiry material with a square mesh.



Silk Cotton. On account of the high price of silk various attempts have been made to find satisfactory substitutes for it. There are certain seed coverings of plants that contain very fine hair-like fibers with a luster almost equal to silk, but the staples are short, and the texture weak. The Kapok plant furnishes most of the commercial silk cotton on the market. The fibers of Kapok are thin and transparent. They are extremely light, and the length is less than half an inch. Silk cotton has a smooth surface and therefore cannot be spun like true cotton which has corded edges.

Artificial Silk. Since seed hairs are composed, like all vegetable fibers, of cellulose, attempts have been made to prepare an artificial silk product from waste paper—that is, by treating waste paper or wood or cotton fibers with various chemicals in order to obtain pure cellulose. This artificial silk is perhaps the most interesting of artificial fibers, but its manufacture is dangerous, owing to the ease with which it catches fire and explodes. Cellulose, chemically treated, can be transformed into a fluid solution known as collodion. The collodion is placed in steel cylinders and expelled by pressure through capillary tubes. After drying, denitration, and washing, it may be spun and dyed like natural silk. Colored threads may be produced by the addition of certain dyes.

Artificial silk bears a deceptive resemblance to the natural article, and has nearly the same luster. It lacks the tensile strength and elasticity, and is of higher specific gravity than true silk.

Tests. A simple way of recognizing artificial silk is by testing the threads under moisture, as follows: First, unravel a few threads of the suspected fabric, place them in the mouth and masticate them vigorously. Artificial silk readily softens under this operation and breaks up into minute particles, and when pulled between the fingers shows no thread, but merely a mass of cellulose or pulp. Natural silk, no matter how thoroughly masticated, will retain its fibrous strength. The artificial silk offers no resistance to the teeth, which readily go through it; whereas natural silk resists the action of the teeth.



On account of the high price of cotton various experiments have been made in an effort to replace it with fiber from wood pulp, grasses, leaves, and other plants.

Wood Pulp. A Frenchman has discovered a process, la soyeuse, of making spruce wood pulp into a substitute for cotton. Although it is called a substitute, the samples show that it takes dye, bleaching, and finishing more brilliantly than the cotton fiber. It resists boiling in water or caustic potash solution for some minutes, and does not burn more quickly than cotton. The fiber can be made of any length, as is also the case with artificial silk. The strength of the yarn apparently exceeds cotton, and the cost of manufacture is much lower. Arrangements are being made in Europe for the extensive production of this fiber.

Ramie. Ramie or China grass is a soft, silky, and extremely strong fiber. It grows in southwestern Asia, is cultivated commercially in China, Formosa, and Japan, and is a fiber of increasing importance. Ramie is a member of the nettle family and attains a height of from four to eight feet. After the stalks are cleaned of a gummy substance, insoluble in water, it is known as China grass, and is used in China for summer clothing. In Europe and America by the use of modern machinery and chemical processes the fiber is cleaned effectively and cheaply. After it is bleached and combed it makes a fine silky fiber, one-half the weight of linen, and three times stronger than hemp. It is used in Europe to make fabrics that resemble silk, and is also used in making underwear and velvets. With other fabrics it is employed as a filling for woolen warps. It will probably be used widely in the United States as soon as cheaper methods of cleaning are devised.

Pineapple and Other Fibers. Other fibers, of which that from the pineapple is the most important, are used for textile purposes in China, South America, parts of Africa, Mexico, and Central America. Their use has not been extensive on account of high cost of production. The silk from the pineapple is very light and of excellent quality.

Spun Glass. When a glass rod is heated in a flame until perfectly soft it can be drawn out in the form of very fine threads which may be used in the production of handsome silky fabrics. Spun glass can be produced in colors; but on account of the low elasticity of these products, their practical value is small, though the threads are exceedingly uniform and have beautiful luster. Spun glass is used by chemists for filtering strong acid solutions.

A kind of glass wool is produced by drawing out to a capillary thread two glass rods of different degrees of hardness. On cooling they curl up, in consequence of the different construction of the two constituent threads.

Metallic Threads. Metallic threads have always been used for decorating, particularly in rich fabrics. Fine golden threads, as well as silver gilt threads, and silver threads and copper wire, have been used in many of the so-called Cyprian gold thread fabrics, so renowned for their beauty and permanence in the Middle Ages. These threads are now produced by covering flax or hemp threads with a gilt of fine texture.

Slag Wool. Slag wool is obtained by allowing molten slag (generally from iron) to run into a pan fitted with a steam injector which blows the slag into fibers. The fibers are cooled by running them through water, and the finished product is used as a packing material.

Asbestos. Asbestos is a silicate of magnesium and lime, containing in addition iron and aluminum. It is found in Savoy, the Pyrenees, Northern Italy, Canada, and some parts of the United States. Asbestos usually occurs in white or greenish glassy fibers, sometimes combined in a compact mass, and sometimes easily separable, elastic, and flexible. Canadian asbestos is almost pure white, and has long fibers. Asbestos can be spun into fine thread and woven into rope or yarn, but as it is difficult to spin these fibers alone, they are generally mixed with a little cotton, which is afterwards disposed of by heating the finished fabric to incandescence. Because of its incombustible nature asbestos is used where high temperatures are necessary, as in the packing of steam joints, steam cylinders, hot parts of machines, and for fire curtains in theatres, hotels, etc. It is difficult to dye.


Testing Textile Fabrics. This is an age of adulteration, and next to food there is probably no commodity that is adulterated as much as the clothing we wear. Large purchasers of textile fabrics and various administrative bodies, such as army clothing departments, railway companies, etc., have adopted definite specifications to ensure having good material and workmanship. Before the fabrics are accepted they are examined carefully by certain tests to see if they meet the requirements. Wholesale and retail merchants insist on various conditions when purchasing fabrics in order to conform to the increasing needs of the public. Hence every manufacturer, buyer, or dealer in fabrics should be familiar with the tests used to determine the quality of goods he is about to buy.

The tests used are as follows:

1. Identification of the style of weaving.

2. Testing the breaking strength and the elasticity by the dynamometer.

3. Determining the "count" of warp and filling.

4. Determining the shrinkage.

5. Testing the constituents of warp and of filling.

6. Testing the finish and dressing materials.

7. Testing the fastness of the dye.

Directions for Determining the Style of Weave. In examining a fabric for the weave it is first necessary to determine the direction of the warp and filling threads. This is a very simple matter in a great many fabrics that have a selvedge—the warp must be parallel to the selvedge.

In fabrics that have been fulled, raised, and cropped, as buckskin, flannel, etc., the direction of the nap will indicate the direction of the warp, since the nap runs in this direction.

In the case of fabrics with doubled and single threads, the doubled threads are always found in the warp.

In fabrics composed of cotton and woolen threads running in different directions, the cotton yarn usually forms the warp and the woolen yarn the filling. Then again the warp threads of all fabrics are more tightly twisted than the filling threads, and are separated at more regular intervals.

Sometimes in stiffened or starched goods threads running in only one direction can be seen. In this case they are the warp threads.

If one set of threads appears stiffer and straighter than the other, the former may be regarded as warp, while the rough and crooked threads are the filling. The yarn also gives one a hint, since the better, longer, and higher number material constitutes the warp, while the thicker yarn the filling.

The direction of the twist of the thread is conclusive; if one set has a strong right twist and the other a left twist the first is the warp.

After determining the direction of the warp and filling, the next point is to determine the interlacing of the warp and filling threads—the weave. This may be done by inspection or by means of a pick-glass and needle. The weave may be plotted on design paper (plotting paper), the projecting warp threads being indicated by filling up the corresponding square, and leaving those referring to the filling threads blank. In this way the weaving pattern of the sample is obtained, and serves as a guide to the weaver in making the fabric, as well as for the preparation of the pattern cards for the Jacquard loom.

Testing the Strength and Elasticity of a Fabric. The old-fashioned plan of testing cloth by tearing it by the hand is unreliable, because tearing frequently requires only a certain skilled knack whereby the best material can be pulled in two. In this way an experienced man may tell good from bad cloth, but he cannot determine slight differences in quality, because he has exerted his strength so often that his capacity to distinguish the actual force has disappeared.

The best means of determining the strength of a fabric is by means of a mechanical dynamometer,[19] which expresses the tensile strength of the fabric in terms of weight. The machine is very useful to the manufacturer because it enables him to compare accurately his various products with those of his competitors. The value of these tests is sufficiently proved by the fact that all army clothing departments, etc., require their supplies of cloth, etc., to pass a definite test for strength.

Breaking tests also afford the most certain proof to bleachers of cotton and linen goods as to whether the bleaching has burned or weakened the goods. The same test will quickly determine whether a fabric has been improperly treated in the laundry.

Determining the Count of Warp and Filling Threads. Every fabric must contain a certain count of warp and filling threads—a definite number within a certain space for each strength of yarn employed. A fabric is not up to the standard of density when less than the requisite number of warp or filling threads per inch is found. For example, if a buyer was told that a fabric is 80 square, that is, eighty warp threads and eighty filling threads to the inch, and on examination found only 72 square, he would immediately reject the goods.

The count of warp and filling is determined by means of a pick-glass—a small mounted magnifying glass—the base of which contains an opening of one-half inch by one quarter inch, or one quarter inch by one quarter inch. If the pick-glass is placed on the fabric the number of warp and filling threads may be counted, and the result multiplied by either two or four, so as to give the number of threads to the inch. For example, if I count twenty picks and twenty threads on a one quarter-inch edge, there are eighty picks and eighty threads to the inch. A more accurate result can be obtained by using a pick-glass with a one-inch opening.

Determination of Shrinkage. A very important factor in the value of a fabric is the shrinkage. The extent of this may be determined by pouring hot water over a sample of about twelve by twenty inches, and leaving the fabric immersed over night, then drying it at a moderate temperature without stretching. The difference in length gives the shrinkage, which is usually expressed in percentage.

Determination of Weight. Buyers and sellers of dry goods, when traveling, are anxious to determine the weight of fabrics they examine. This may be done by means of small pocket balances so constructed as to give the number of ounces to the yard of a fabric.

Testing the Constituents of the Warp and Filling. Take a sample piece of the cloth to be examined—the piece must be large enough to contain specimens of all the different kinds of yarn present in the material—and separate all the filling and warp threads. Be sure that all double threads are untwisted.

Combustion Test; Test for Vegetable and Animal Fibers. Burn separately a sample of the untwisted warp and filling threads. If one or both burn quickly without a greasy odor, they are vegetable fibers, cotton or linen. If one or both burn slowly and give off a greasy odor, they are animal fibers, wool or silk. This test is not conclusive, and further chemical examination—acid test—must be made to ascertain whether wool is pure or mixed with cotton.

Acid Test. The vegetable fibers, cotton and linen, are distinguished from those of animal origin by their behavior in the presence of acids and alkalies. The vegetable are insoluble when boiled with a 4 per cent sodium hydrate solution, but readily clear or carbonize when saturated with a 3 per cent sulphuric acid solution and allowed to dry at a high temperature in a hot closet. Wool on the other hand is not affected by the action of weak sulphuric acid.

Cotton Distinguished from Linen. If the fibers are vegetable, cotton may be distinguished from linen by staining the fibers with fuchsine. If the fibers turn red, and this coloration disappears on the addition of ammonia, they are cotton, if the red color remains the fibers are linen. Whenever cotton yarn is used to adulterate other fabrics, it wears shabby and loses its brightness. When it is used to adulterate linen, it becomes fuzzy through wear. One may detect it in linen by rolling the goods between thumb and finger. Linen is a heavier fabric, and wrinkles much more readily than cotton. It wears better, and has an exquisite freshness that is not noticed in cotton fabrics.

Silk Distinguished from Wool. Place the fabric or threads containing animal fibers in cold, concentrated hydrochloric acid. If silk is present it will dissolve, while wool merely swells.

Artificial Silk from Silk. On account of the low value of the artificial and the high value of genuine silk, there is a tendency to offer the artificial instead of the pure article. Test: When artificial silk is boiled in 4 per cent potassium hydrate solution it produces a yellow solution, while pure silk gives a colorless solution.

A common test is to put the artificial silk in water, where it will pull apart as though rotten; or to take out one strand of the silk, hold it between the finger and thumb of each hand and wet the middle of the strand with the tongue, when it will pull apart as though rotten.

Artificial silk is inferior in strength and elasticity to pure silk. Then again it is lacking in the crackling feeling noticed in handling the genuine article.

Test for Shoddy. It is no easy matter to detect shoddy in woolen fabrics; the color of the shoddy threads is the best evidence. Many parcels of rags are of one single color, but for the most part they are made of various colored wools; therefore, if on examination of a fabric with a magnifying glass a yarn of any particular color is found to contain a number of individual fibers of glaring colors, the presence of shoddy can be assumed with certainty.

Woolen goods containing cotton are seldom made from natural wool. Shoddy yarns, especially in winter goods, are found in the under-filling at the reverse side of the cloth, as thick, tightly twisted yarns, curlier than those from the pure wool.

Determination of the Dressing. During the various operations of washing, bleaching, etc., the goods lose in weight, and to make up this deficit a moderate amount of dressing or loading is employed. Dressing is not regarded as an adulteration, but as an embellishment.

Various dressing materials are used, such as starch, flour, mineral matters, to give the goods stiffness and feel on one hand, and on the other to conceal defects in the cloth, and to give a solid appearance to goods of open texture. The mineral substances used serve chiefly for filling and weighting, and necessitate the employment of a certain quantity of starch, etc. In order that the latter may not render the cloth too stiff and hard, further additions of some emollient, such as glycerine, oils, etc., are necessary.

When a fabric filled in this manner is placed in water and rubbed between the hands, the dressing is removed, and the quantity employed can be easily determined.

By holding fabrics before the light dressing will be recognized, and such goods, if rubbed between the fingers, will lose their stiffness. Loading is revealed by the production of dust on rubbing, and by the aid of the magnifying glass it can be easily ascertained whether the covering or dressing is merely superficial or penetrates into the substance of the fabric.

The tests of permanence of dyes on fabrics are as follows:

Washing Fastness. Fabrics should stand mechanical friction as well as the action of soap liquor and the temperature of the washing operation. In order to test the fabric for fastness a piece should be placed in a soap solution similar to that used in the ordinary household, and heated to 131 degrees F. The treatment should be repeated several times. If the color fails to run it is fast to washing.

Fastness Under Friction. Stockings, hosiery yarns, corset stuffs, and all fabrics intended to be worn next to the skin must be permanent under friction, and must not rub off, stain, or run, that is, the dyed materials must not give off their color when worn next to the human epidermis (skin), or in close contact with colored articles of clothing, as in the case of underwear.

The simplest test is to rub the fabric or yarn on white unstarched cotton fabric. In comparing the fastness of two fabrics it is necessary to have the rubbing equal in all cases.

Resistance to Perspiration. With fabrics coming in contact with the human skin it is necessary in addition to fastness under friction that they should withstand the excretions of the body. The acids of perspiration (acetic, formic, and butyric) often become so concentrated that they act on the fiber of the fabric.

In order to test the fabric for resistance, place the sample in a bath of 30 per cent dilute acetic acid (one teaspoonful to a quart of water) warmed to the temperature of the body, 98.6 degrees F. The sample should be dipped a number of times, and then dried without rinsing between parchment paper.

Fastness against Rain. Silk and woolen materials for umbrella making, raincoats, etc., are expected to be rainproof. These fabrics are tested by plaiting with undyed yarns and left to stand all night in cold water.

Resistance to Street Mud and Dust. Ladies' dress goods are expected to withstand the action of mud and dust. In order to test a fabric for this resistance the sample should be moistened with lime and water (10 per cent solution), dried, and brushed. Or sprinkle with a 10 per cent solution of soda, drying, brushing, and noting any changes in color.

Fastness to Weather, Light, and Air. Various people have attempted to set up standard degrees of fastness—for every shade of color is affected by the action of sun, light, and air—and as a result fabrics that remain without appreciable alteration for a month of exposure to direct summer sunlight are classified as "fast," and those undergoing slight appreciable change under the same conditions as "fairly fast." "Moderately fast" colors are those altering considerably in fourteen days; and those more or less completely faded in the same time (fourteen days) are designated as "fleeting."

Directions for testing fastness of Color in Sunlight. Cover one end of the sample of cloth with a piece of cardboard. Expose the fabric to the sunlight for a number of days and examine the cloth each day in the dark and notice whether the part exposed has changed in color when compared with the part covered. Count the number of days it has taken the sunlight to change the color.

Brown in woolen materials is likely to fade. Brown holds its color in all gingham materials.

Dark blue is an excellent color for woolens and ginghams. Light blues on the other hand usually change.

Black, gray, and black with white. These colors are very satisfactory for woolen materials.

Black is not a color which wears very well with cotton fabrics, as it shows the starch (sizing) and often fades.

Red is an excellent color for all woolen materials. It looks attractive and wears well.

Red is a very poor color for cotton. It loses its brilliancy and frequent washing spoils it.

A deep pink is an excellent color for all ginghams for it fades evenly and leaves a pretty shade.

Green is a poor color for both cotton and woolen materials unless it is high priced.

Lavender fades more than any other color in textiles.


The three fundamental industries that have developed from necessity are the feeding, sheltering, and clothing of the human race. These primary wants were first gratified before such conveniences as transportation and various lines of manufacture were even considered. Next to furnishing our food supply, the industry of supplying clothing is the oldest and the most widely diffused. It is in the manufacture of textiles—including all materials used in the manufacturing of clothing—that human ingenuity is best illustrated.

The magnitude of the textile industry in the United States is evident when we consider that it gives employment to a round million of people, paying them nearly five hundred million dollars annually in wages and salaries, producing nearly one and three-quarters billion dollars in gross value each year, and giving a livelihood to at least three millions of our population.

Wool, cotton, flax, and silk have been used since early times. Even in the earlier days these fibers were woven with great skill. It is not known which fiber was the first to be used in weaving. It is probable, however, that the possession of flocks and herds led to the spinning and weaving of wool before cotton, flax, or silk fibers were thus used.

Wool. The date at which prehistoric man discarded the pelt of skins for the woven fabric of wool marks the origin of the textile industry. Primitive sheep were covered with hair and the wool which now characterizes them was then a downy under-coat. As time went on and the art of spinning and weaving developed, the food value of sheep decreased, while the wool value increased. The hairy flocks were bred out, and the sheep with true wool, like the merino, survived. Sheep were bred principally for the wool and not for the mutton. Woolen fabrics were worn by the early inhabitants of Persia and Palestine. The Persians were noted for the excellent fabrics they wove from wool. Even the Hebrews of an early date were very skilful in weaving woolens.

The early Romans were a race of shepherds and the women of the higher classes wove the cloth in their own homes. When Caesar invaded England, he found in the southern part of the island people acquainted with the spinning and weaving of wool and linen. With the downfall of Rome, the art of weaving cloth in Europe was almost lost, and people again wore furs and skins.

By the end of the eleventh century English cloth manufacturing had begun to revive. In the northern part of Italy certain Italians had flocks of sheep and obtained very fine wool, and the people of Flanders continued to develop skill in weaving during the Dark Ages.

In the twelfth century the woolen manufacturers of Flanders had grown to be of great importance, and some of the finest goods were shipped from there to many countries.

In England, up to the time of Edward III, in the fourteenth century, the wool produced was exported to the Netherlands, there to be woven into cloth. Edward III invited many of the Flemish weavers to come to England to teach the English people how to make their own clothes. Edward was called the "Royal Wool Merchant" and also the "Father of English Commerce." During Elizabeth's reign in the sixteenth century the chief article of export was woolen cloth. In 1685 the Huguenots, who were driven from France, went to England to settle. These people were noted for their skill in weaving.

Patient effort in care and breeding of sheep showed a steady increase in the quantity and quality of wool until 1810, and the proportion of sheep to the population was then greater than at the present time.

Our own climate is highly favorable for sheep breeding, and it is certain that the American sheep has no superior in any wool growing country, in constitutional vigor and strength of wool-fiber, and no wools make more durable or more valuable clothing.

The obstacles to sheep husbandry in certain parts of the United States, like New England, are mainly climatic. The natural home of the only races of sheep which can be herded in large flocks is an elevated tableland, like the steppes of Russia and the great plains of Asia, Argentina, Montana, Wyoming, and others of our western states where an open air range is possible for nearly twelve months in the year. In these elevated lands there are grasses which are more nutritious in winter than in summer. The climate of New England does not permit the growth of such grasses. Every grass which will grow in New England becomes in the cold months frozen wood fiber. Then again there is the frigid and penetrating atmosphere which necessitates housing the sheep in winter, and these animals cannot be closely housed without engendering a variety of parasitic diseases.

Cotton. Long before history was written, cotton was used in making fabrics in India and China. Cotton has been for thousands of years the leading fabric of the East. The Hindoos have for centuries maintained almost unapproachable perfection in their cotton fabrics. It was the Arabian caravans that brought Indian calicoes and muslins into Europe.

Cotton was first cultivated in Europe by the Moors in Spain in the ninth century. In 1430 it was imported into England in large quantities. The section of England about Manchester became in time the seat of the great cotton industry; this was due to the settlement of spinners and weavers from Flanders.

During the reign of Elizabeth, the East Indies Trading Company was established. Not only was cotton imported, but also India muslins. This caused trouble because of the decrease in the demand for woolen goods manufactured in England. A law was passed prohibiting the importing of cotton goods and later the manufacturing of them, but this law was repealed on account of the great demand for cotton materials.

Columbus found cotton garments worn by the natives of the West Indies. Later Cortez found that cotton was used in Mexico; hence, cotton is indigenous to America. In 1519 Cortez made the first recorded export of cotton from America to Europe.

In 1734 cotton was planted in Georgia. Bales of cotton were sent to England, and the manufacturing of cloth was soon under way. While the colonies were trying to gain independence, England imposed a fine on anyone sending cotton machinery to America, and restrictions were put on manufacturing and imports of any kind. After the War of Independence many of the southern states began to raise cotton in larger quantities.

The invention of the cotton-gin by Eli Whitney was one of the great inventions of the age. While only two pounds of cotton could be seeded by hand by one person in a day, the gin made it possible to do several hundred pounds. At the time of the Civil War the greater part of the cotton used by English manufacturers was imported from the southern states. The closing of the southern ports during the war affected the cotton industry throughout the world. Large mills in England were closed, and thousands of people were out of employment. Steps were then taken to encourage people of India, Egypt, Central and South America to increase their production of cotton, and from that time on, cotton from these countries has been found in the general market. Cotton is now cultivated in nearly all countries within the limits 45 deg. north and 35 deg. south of the equator.

At the present time the United States ranks first in the production and export of cotton. Of all the states, Texas and Georgia produce the largest amount. About one-third of the entire crop is used in our own mills; $250,000,000 worth of cotton is annually exported, principally through New Orleans, New York, Savannah, and Galveston. Three-fifths of this quantity goes to mills in England; Germany, France, and Switzerland take a large part of the remainder.

The value of cotton is shown by the fact that about one-half the people of the earth wear clothing made entirely of cotton, and the other half (with the exception of some savage tribes) use it in part of the dress.

Linen. Linen has always been held in great esteem. The garments of the Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman priests were made of the finest linen.

During the Middle Ages, Italy, Spain, and France were celebrated for their linen fabrics. Religious intolerance in France drove 300,000 of her best textile workers into England, Ireland, and Scotland. Irish linen weaving began as early as the eleventh century.

Linen has never been largely woven in America except in the coarser forms of crash and toweling, although linen weaving was one of the Puritan domestic industries. The reason America has not been able to equal Europe in its production of fine linens is because the process for separating the fiber from the stalk requires the cheapest form of labor to make it profitable, hence most of the American-grown flax is raised only for seed.

Silk. Silk was used in the East as a fabric for the nobility. It was first used in China and later in India. It was brought into Europe about the sixth century. Up to that time the Chinese had a monopoly of the industry. By the tenth and eleventh centuries silk fabrics were made in Spain and Italy. At the close of the sixteenth century silk was being produced at Lyons, France. It was afterwards introduced into England, and the English silk for a long time replaced the French in the European market.


The development of the textile industry may be divided into four stages or periods: first, the family system; second, the guild system; third, the domestic system; and fourth, the factory system.

The Family System. Under the family system the work of spinning and weaving was carried on by members of a household for the purpose of supplying the family with clothing. There were no sales of the product. Each class in society, from the peasant class to that of the nobleman, had its own devices for making clothing. This was the system that existed up to about the tenth century.

The Guild System. As communities became larger and cities sprang up, the textile industry became more than a family concern. There was a demand for better fabrics, and to meet this demand it became necessary to have a large supply of different parts of looms. The small weaver who owned and constructed his own loom was not able to have all these parts, so he began to work for a more prosperous weaver. The same conditions applied to spinning, and as early as 1740 spinning was carried on by a class distinct from the weavers. As a result the small weaver was driven out by the growth of organized capital, and a more perfect organization, called the guild system, arose. By this system the textile industry was carried on by a small group of men called masters, employing two, three or more men (distinguished later as journeymen and apprentices). The masters organized associations called guilds and dominated all the conditions of the manufacture to a far greater extent than is possible under present conditions.

It was the family system that existed in the American colonies at the beginning of the settlement, and for many years after. The guild system was not adopted in America because it was going out of existence on the Continent.

The Domestic Period. By the middle of the eighteenth century the textile industry began to break away from the guilds and spread from cities to the rural districts. The work was still carried on in the master's house, although he had lost the economic independence that he had under the old guild system where he acted both as merchant and manufacturer. He now received his raw material from the merchant and disposed of the finished goods to a middleman, who looked after the demands of the market.

The Factory System. The domestic period was in turn crowded out of existence by the factory system. A factory is a place where goods are produced by power for commercial use. The factory system first came into prominence after the invention of the steam engine. No record has been found showing its existence prior to this invention.

English weavers and spinners became very skilful and invented different mechanical aids for the production of yarn and cloth. These mechanical aids not only enabled one man to do twenty men's work, but further utilization was made of water and steam power in place of manual labor. Then began the organization of the industry on a truly gigantic scale, combining capital and machinery and resulting in what is known as the factory system.

Previous to the development of the factory system there was no reason why any industry should be centered in one particular district. Upon the utilization of steam power the textile industry became subdivided into a number of industries, each one becoming to a great extent localized in convenient and suitable portions of the country. Thus in Bradford the wool of Yorkshire (England) meets the coal of Yorkshire and makes Bradford the great woolen and worsted center of the world. The same thing took place in Manchester, where the cotton of America meets the coal of England under satisfactory climatic conditions, and around Manchester is the greatest cotton manufacturing of the world.

The same is true in America. Lawrence became a large worsted center on account of the great fall of water and the use of the river to deposit wool washings. Lowell, Fall River, and New Bedford became large cotton centers for similar reasons.


Spinning. Spinning and weaving are two of the earliest arts practised by man. Yarn for the making of cloth was spun in the earliest times by the use of the distaff and spindle. The spindle was a round stick of wood a foot or less in length, tapering at each end. A ring of stone or clay was placed on the spindle to give it steadiness and momentum when it revolved. At the top of the spindle was a slit or notch in which the yarn was caught. The distaff was a larger, stouter stick, around one end of which the material to be spun was wound in a loose ball. The spinner fixed the end of the distaff under her left arm so that the coil of material was in a convenient position for drawing out to form the yarn. The end of the yarn, after being prepared, was inserted in the notch, and the spindle was set in motion by rolling it with the right hand against the leg. Then the spinner drew from the distaff an additional amount of fiber, which was formed by the right hand into uniform strands. After the yarn was twisted, it was released from the notch and wound around the lower part of the spindle.

In order to spin yarn by the primitive spinner, it was necessary for the fiber to have sufficient length to enable it to be manipulated, drawn over, and twisted by the fingers. It is noted that the yarns for the gossamer-like Dacca muslins of India were so fine that one pound of cotton was spun into a thread 253 miles long. This was accomplished with the aid of a bamboo spindle not much bigger than a darning needle, which was lightly weighted with a pellet of clay. Since such a slender thread could not support even the weight of so slight a spindle, the apparatus was rotated upon a piece of hollow shell. It thus appears that the primitive spinners with distaff and spindle had nothing to learn in point of fineness from even the most advanced methods of spinning by machinery.

Certain rude forms of the spinning wheel seem to have been known from time immemorial. The use of the wheel in Europe cannot, however, be dated back earlier than the fifteenth century. In the primitive wheel the spindle, having a groove worked in its whorl, was mounted horizontally in a framework fixed to the end of a bench. A band passed around the whorl and was carried around a large wheel fixed farther back on the bench, and this wheel, being turned by the hand of the spinner, gave a rapid rotation to the spindle.

The fibers to be spun were first combed out by means of carding boards—an implement of unknown antiquity, consisting of two boards with wire teeth set in them at a uniform angle. The fiber to be carded was thinly spread upon one of the boards, and then the other was pushed backward and forward across it, the teeth of the two overlapping at opposite angles, until the fibers were combed out and laid straight in parallel lines. The fibers were then scraped off the boards in rollers or "cardings" about twelve inches long and three-quarters of an inch in diameter. An end of the carding was then attached to the spindle and the wheel set in motion. The carding itself was held in the hand of the spinner and gradually drawn out and twisted by the rotation of the spindle. As soon as a sufficient length had been attenuated and twisted to the required fineness, the thread so produced was held at right angles to the spindle and allowed to wind up on it. But for fine spinning two operations of the wheel were generally necessary. By the first spinning the fibers were drawn out and slightly attenuated into what was called a roving, and by the second spinning the roving itself passed through a similar cycle of operations to bring it to the required degree of attenuation and twist.

Many improvements in the primitive wheel were introduced from time to time. In its later developments two spindles were employed, the spinner being thus enabled to manipulate two threads at once, one in each hand. This was the latest form of the spinning-wheel, and it survived until it was superseded in the eighteenth century by the great series of inventions which inaugurated the industrial revolution and led in the nineteenth century to the introduction of the factory system.

Weaving. When or where man first began to weave cloth is not known, nor is it known whether this art sprang from one common center or was invented by many who dwelt in different parts of the world. There is such a sameness in the early devices for spinning and weaving that among some men of science it is thought that the art must have come from a common center.

Fabrics were made on the farms two or three hundred years ago in the following manner: the men of the household raised the flocks, while the women spun the yarn and wove the fabrics. In this way the industry prospered, giving occupation and income to thousands of the agricultural class. You might say that in England fabrics were a by-product of agriculture. As time went on, farmers of certain sections of England became more expert in the art, and the weaving became separated from the spinning. The weavers became clustered in certain towns on account of the higher skill required for the finer fabrics. The rough work of farming made the hands of the weaver less skilful. This, coupled with the fact that the looms became more complicated with improvements, called for a more experienced man. Great inventions brought about a more rapid development of the factory.

Richard Arkwright, who has been called the "father of the factory system," built the first cotton mill in the world in Nottingham in 1769. The wheels were turned by horses. In 1771 Arkwright erected at Crawford a new mill which was turned by water power and supplied with machinery to accomplish the whole operation of cotton spinning in one mill, the first machine receiving the cotton as it came from the bale and the last winding the cotton yarn upon the bobbins. Children were employed in this mill, as they were found to be more dexterous in tying the broken ends. As the result of this great invention, factories sprang up everywhere in England, changing the country scene into a collection of factories, with tall chimneys, brick buildings, and streets.

From 1730 to the middle of the nineteenth century the development of inventions was rapid:

1730—First cotton yarn spun in England by machinery by Wyatt.

1733—English patent granted John Kay for the invention of the fly shuttle.

1738—Patent granted Lewis Paul for the spinning machinery supposed to have been invented by Wyatt.

1742—First mill for spinning cotton built at Birmingham; moved by asses; but not successful.

1748—Patent on a cylinder card as first used by hand, granted Lewis Paul.

1750—Fly shuttle in general use in England.

1756—Cotton velvets and quiltings first made in England.

1760—Stock cards first used for cotton by J. Hargreave. Drop box invented by Kay.

1762-67—Spinning-jenny invented by Hargreave.

1769—Arkwright obtains his first patent on spinning.

1774—Bill passed in England to prevent the export of cotton machinery.

1775—Second patent of Arkwright on carding, drawing, and spinning.

1779—Mule spinning invented by Crompton. Peele's patent on carding, roving, and spinning.

1782—Date of Watt's patent for the steam-engine.

1783—Bounty granted in England for the export of certain cotton goods.

1785—Power loom invented by Cartwright. Cylinder printing invented by Bell. A warp stop-motion described in Cartwright's patent.

1788—First cotton factory built in the United States, at Beverly.

1789—Sea Island cotton first planted in the United States. Samuel Slater starts cotton machinery in New York.

1790—First cotton factory built in Rhode Island by Slater.

1792—First American loom patent granted to Kirk and Leslie.

1794—Cotton-gin patented by Eli Whitney.

1801—Date given for invention of the Jacquard machine in France.

1803—Dressing machine and warper invented in England by Radcliffe, Ross, and Johnson.

1804—First cotton mill built in New Hampshire, at New Ipswich.

1805—Power loom successfully introduced in England after many failures.

1806—First cotton mill built in Connecticut, at Pomfret.

1809—First cotton mill built in Maine, at Brunswick.

1812—First cotton mill built at Fall River.

1814—Cotton opener with lap attachment invented in England by Creighton.

1815—Power loom introduced into the United States at Waltham.

1816—First loom temple of Ira Draper patented in the United States.

1818—Machinery for preparing sewing cotton invented in England by Holt.

1822—First cotton factory erected at Lowell.

1823—Differential motion for roving frames patented by Arnold. First export of raw cotton from Egypt to England.

1824—Tube frame or speeder patented by Danforth.

1825—Self-acting mule patented in England by Roberts.

1828—Ring spinning patented by John Thorpe. Cap spinning patented by Danforth.

1829—Revolving loom temple improvements patented by Ira Draper.

1832—Stop-motion for drawing frames invented by Bachelder.

1833—Ring spinning frames first built by William Mason.

1834—Weft fork patented in England by Ramsbottom and Hope. Shuttle-changing loom by Reid and Johnson.

1840—Automatic loom led off. Important temple improvement.

1849—First cotton mill erected in Lawrence.

Through this great change from hand to power work, thousands were thrown out of employment in the great textile centers, and much suffering occurred, which led to the smashing of machinery.

Knitting Machinery. Like many other industries, the hosiery trade owes its first and most important impetus to the genius of one who was not connected with the business in a practical way. This event took place when the Rev. William Lee invented the hand frame. He was married early in life, and his wife was obliged, on account of the slender family finances, to knit continuously at home. Struck with the monotony and toil involved in knitting with the hand pins, Mr. Lee evolved a means of knitting by machinery and brought out the hand stocking-frame, which to-day preserves its chief features very much as Lee invented them. When knitting by hand, one must form each loop separately, and loop follows loop laboriously until the width of fabric has been worked. Lee contrived to make the whole row of loops across the width simultaneously by arranging a needle for each loop and placing in connection with each needle a sinker and other apparatus for completing the formation of the loop. First of all, the yarn is laid over the needles, which are arranged horizontally, and the sinkers come down on the yarn and cause it to form partial loops between the needles. The old loops of the previous course are now brought forward and the new yarn is drawn through them in the same way as is done on the hand pins. Thus the new yarn of one course is drawn through the loops of the preceding one, and so the whole fabric is built up. This frame of Lee's held its own in the great centers until some thirty years ago.

Lee's hand frame gave way to what is termed the jack and sinker rotary frame, which was like the hand frame in its chief features, but with the advantage that all the motions were brought about by power. The various operations were put under the control of a set of cams[20] and made to perform their movements in exactly the same way as in the case of the hand frame. In the first power machine for knitting, the machine builder used the cam mechanism, and in examining the latest machines we find that he has persisted in this course throughout. The cam movement is characterized by great smoothness of working and absence of vibration, which is very necessary in a machine of the delicate adjustment of the knitting frame. It is usual to connect some of the parts with two of these cams, one of which controls the up-and-down motion and the other the out-and-in movement. When these two cams work in conjunction, we obtain all the possible degrees of harmonic motion.

From the jack and sinker frame the next really important step was taken when William Cotton brought out his famous Cotton's patent frame. In his machine the frame was in a sense turned on its back, for the parts, such as the needles, which had been horizontal, were made vertical and vice versa. He also reduced the number of the moving parts and perfected the cam arrangement. Another very important development of the machine was when it was built in a number of divisions so as to work a number of articles side by side at one time. At present there are knitting frames which can make twelve full-sized garments at one and the same time.

Another important improvement was effected when the fashioning apparatus was supplied to the machine, by means of which the garments could be shaped according to the human form by increasing or decreasing the width as desired.


Lace, like porcelain, stained glass, and other artistic things, has always been an object of interest to all classes. Special patterns of laces date from the sixteenth century. The church and court have always encouraged its production. While the early lace work was similar to weaving, in that the patterns were stiff and geometrical, sometimes the patterns were cut out of linen, but with the development of the renaissance of art, free flowing patterns and figures were introduced and worked in.

The lace industry first took root in Flanders and Venice, where it became an important branch of industry. Active intercourse was maintained between the two countries, so that intense rivalry existed. France and England were not behind Venice and Flanders in making lace. The king of France, Henry III, encouraged lace work by appointing a Venetian to be pattern maker for varieties of linen needlework and lace for his court. Later, official aid and patronage were given to this art by Louis V. Through the influence of these two men the demand for lace was increased to such an extent that it became very popular.

Under the impulse of fashion and luxury, lace has received the stamp of the special style of each country. Italy furnishes its Point of Venice; Belgium its Brussels and Mechlin; France its Valenciennes, etc.

Very little is known of the early lace manufacturers of Holland. The laces of Holland were overshadowed by the richer products of their Flemish neighbors. The Dutch, however, had one advantage over other nations in their Haarlem thread, once considered the best thread in the world for lace.

In Switzerland, the center of the lace trade, the work was carried on to such a degree of perfection as to rival the laces of Flanders, not alone in beauty, but also in quality.

Attempts have been made at various times, both during this century and the last, to assist the peasantry of Ireland by instruction in lace-making. The finest patterns of old lace were procured, and the Irish girls showed great skill in copying them. Later a better style of work, needlepoint, was modeled after old Venetian lace—the exquisite productions for which Americans pay fabulous prices at the present day.

The lace manufacturers of Europe experienced a serious set-back in 1818 when bobbinet was first made in France. Fashion, always fleeting, adopted the new material. Manufacturers were forced to lower prices, but happily a new channel for export was opened in the United States.

The machine-made productions of the Nottingham looms, as triumphs of mechanical ingenuity, deserve great praise.

The first idea of the lace-making machine is attributed to a common factory hand, Hammond Lindy, who, when examining the lace on his wife's cap, conceived a plan by which he could copy it on his loom. Improvements followed, and in 1810 a fairly good net was produced.

Perhaps the most delicate textile machine known, in its sensitiveness to heat and cold, is a lace machine. A machine can be made to run in any climate, provided it is so installed as to be protected from either extreme of temperature.

The various substitutes for hand-made lace are legion; for what the inventor cannot achieve in one way he can in another. There remains however the fact that the productions of machinery can never possess the charm of the real hand-made work. Machine-made lace is stiffer than hand-made lace.


[19] The testing apparatus may be obtained from any textile manufacturing company, such as Alfred Suter, 487 Broadway, New York.

[20] A cam is a device consisting of a special shaped wheel attached to a machine to give a special kind of motion or movement.


Experiment 1—Construction of Cloth

Apparatus: Pick glass, dissecting pin,[21] foot-rule. Materials: 4 square inches of burlap. References: Textiles. See page 54, Weaving; page 1, Fibers.


1. Look at the cloth under the pick glass and describe the appearance and structure of its interlacing threads, called weave.

2. With a pin separate the interlacing threads of the cloth which are called warp and filling. Warp is composed of yarn running in the direction of the length of the cloth. Filling is composed of yarn running at right angles to the warp.

a. What are the interlacing threads of cloth called?

b. Of what is warp composed and in what direction do the warp threads extend? filling?

3. Notice the appearance of the individual threads (called yarn) of the warp and filling. Test the strength of the yarn by trying to break it.

4. Untwist one of the warp threads and one of the filling threads. Notice whether the yarn becomes stronger or weaker as it is untwisted. What effect has twist on the yarn?

5. After untwisting one of the threads what remains? Measure the length of several of these ends called fibers. Describe the appearance of the fiber as to curl, feel, fineness, etc.


1. Of what does yarn consist?

2. What causes the fibers to cling together?

3. What is the process called by which two sets of threads interlace?

4. When two sets of threads interlace or are woven what is produced?

Experiment 2—Plain or Homespun Weave

Apparatus: Hand loom,[22] two pencils, scissors. Material: Yarn of two colors. Reference: Textiles, page 58.


1. Make a warp on the hand loom with green yarn by having parallel threads running the longest way of the loom to the notches.

2. A harness is a framework on a loom used for raising certain warp threads. Use a pencil as a harness and raise the 1st, 3d, and 5th warp threads. A shed will in this way be formed through which the shuttle carrying the filling thread will pass. Use the red yarn for filling and attach it at one end before passing it through the shed.

3. With a second pencil to act as a second harness raise the 2d, 4th, and 6th warp threads. Pass the filling through the shed thus formed.

4. Repeat twice Directions 2 and 3.

5. Tie all ends, cut the woven sample away from the loom, and mount in note-book.


1. What part of a loom is the harness?

2. What is meant by a shed?

3. What carries the filling thread through the shed on a loom?

4. What is the principle of plain weaving?

5. Name some fabrics produced by plain weaving? See Textiles, page 58.

Experiment 3—Twill Weave

Apparatus: Hand loom, four pencils, scissors. Materials: White cotton warp, colored yarn filling. Reference: Textiles, page 58.


1. On the hand loom make a warp by threading four white warp threads to a notch until there are six sets of warp threads.

2. Using a pencil as a harness (See Exp. 2) raise the first thread of each set of warp threads and pass the filling thread through the shed thus formed.

3. With another pencil as a second harness raise the second thread of each set of warp threads and pass the filling.

4. With a third pencil raise the third thread of each set of warp threads and pass the filling.

5. With still another pencil to act as a fourth harness raise the fourth thread of each set and again pass the filling.

6. Repeat the above directions (2 to 5) several times. Notice that the moving of the filling thread, one warp thread to the left, each time it is woven is causing a diagonal line or rib to form, called twill.

7. Cut the woven sample away from the loom and mount.


1. Why is this weave called a twill weave?

2. How is the diagonal line or twill formed?

3. Why would this kind of weaving be spoken of as 4-harness weave?

4. What popular dress fabric is of twill weave?

Experiment 4—Comparison of Plain and Twill Weave

Apparatus: Pick glass, dissecting pin, foot-rule. Material: 4 sq. in. of burlap, 4 sq. in. of serge. References: Textiles, pages 58, 59, 60.


1. Examine the burlap under the pick glass, noting the structure and number of threads to the inch in the warp (called ends) and the number of threads to the inch in the filling (called picks). Verify with foot-rule.

2. Repeat the above, using serge.


1. What is meant by a number of "ends to the inch"? a number of "picks to the inch"?

2. How many ends to the inch in the burlap? How many picks to the inch?

3. How many ends to the inch in the serge? How many picks?

4. Note several differences between cloth produced by plain weaving and cloth produced by twill weaving.

Experiment 5—Pile Weave

Apparatus: Hand loom, two pencils, scissors. Materials: White cotton warp, filling yarn of two colors. Reference: Textiles, page 62.


1. Thread the loom two warp threads to a notch until there are 20 ends (warp threads).

2. Use a pencil as a harness. Raise the 1st, 3d, 5th, 7th, and 9th sets of warp threads.

3. Fasten securely the green filling yarn at one end and pass it through the shed formed by carrying out Direction 2. Draw the filling thread tight and wind once or twice around the outside warp end.

4. Use a second pencil as a harness and raise the sets of warp threads that are now down, forming a new shed.

5. Fasten the red filling yarn at one end and pass it through the shed. Wind once or twice about the outside warp end.

6. Raise the red filling to form a loop in each place where it (the red filling) has passed over a warp end.

7. Form a shed by raising the first harness and pass through the green filling thread, drawing it tight to hold the red filling above it in place. Wind about the outside warp end.

8. Repeat Directions 2-7 several times, each time raising the red filling to form loops and each time drawing the green filling tight to hold the red in place.

9. Cut with scissors the loops formed by raising the red filling.

10. As well as you can with scissors, shear the pile (the soft, thick covering on the face) to make a fairly even surface.

11. Cut the sample away from the loom and mount.


1. What are some varieties of cloth that are woven with a pile surface?

2. Sometimes the loops of the pile are cut and sometimes left as loops. What fabrics are examples of cut pile? uncut pile?

3. What is meant by the pile of velvet or carpet?

Experiment 6—Other Classes of Weave

Apparatus: Pick glass, dissecting needle. Materials: Samples of satin, voile, lace curtaining, double cloth, carpeting. Reference: Textiles, pages 58-64.

Satin Weave

1. Examine the sample of satin under the pick glass. Notice that the warp and filling interlace in such a way that there is no trace of the diagonal on the face of the cloth.

a. Is satin of a close or loose weave?

b. What can you say of the surface of satin?

c. What effect has this smooth surface on light?

d. This is called a satin weave. Why?

e. What is the most extensive use of the satin weave? (See Textiles, page 1.)

NOTE.—Sometimes fabrics of other weaves will have a satin stripe.

Gauze Weave

2. Examine the sample of voile under the pick glass. This is a type of what is known as gauze weave.

a. What is the chief characteristic of the gauze weave?

b. Name several gauze fabrics.

Lappet Weave

3. Examine a piece of lace curtaining under the pick glass.

a. If the fancy figures were not present, of what weave would this sample be?

Simple figures are stitched into plainly woven or gauze fabrics by machinery to imitate embroidery. This style of weave is known as lappet weave.

b. On fabrics of what two weaves is lappet weaving used?

c. What is lappet weaving?

Jacquard Weave

4. Examine a piece of carpet. Notice the elaborate designs or patterns and the number of colors used. When the figures are elaborate they cannot be stitched in by simple lappet weaving. A special attachment called the Jacquard apparatus is placed on top of the loom. This apparatus controls the warp threads so that a great many sheds may be formed and elaborate figures woven into fabrics. This is called Jacquard weaving.

a. What must be added to a loom for Jacquard weaving?

b. What is the use of the Jacquard apparatus?

c. When is the Jacquard weave used instead of lappet weave?

5. Read Textiles, page 61.

Double Cloth Weave

6. Examine the sample of double cloth. Notice that there are two single cloths. They are combined into one by here and there lacing the warp and filling of one cloth into the warp and filling of the other. In this way they are fastened together securely.

a. What color is the sample on one side? the other?

b. Of what is double cloth composed?

c. How are the single cloths combined into one?

d. Read Textiles, page 62. What are some of the uses of double cloth?

Classes of Weave

7. How many classes of weave have been studied?

8. Name the classes of weave.

9. Name a fabric to illustrate each weave.

Experiment 7—Fibers

Apparatus: Pick glass, dissecting needle.

Materials: Samples of broadcloth, mohair, silk, cotton cloth, linen.

References: Textiles, pages 1; 97, Mohair; 203, Silk; 105, Cotton; 193, Linen; 199, Hemp; 201, Jute; 232, Ramie; 233, Pineapple.


1. Read Textiles, page 1, paragraph 1. What are textiles?

2. Cloth is composed of yarn. Yarn in its turn is composed of many small ends called fibers.

3. Look at the sample of broadcloth. If you did not know this to be broadcloth you would speak of it as woolen goods. Detach from the sample a filling thread and separate it into fibers. These are woolen fibers.

4. Examine the sample of mohair and separate a filling thread into fibers. This takes the name mohair from the fibers which compose it. Mohair is obtained from the Angora goat.

5. Examine a sample of silk, also a detached filling thread. The silk fiber consists of a thread spun by the silk worm.

6. Wool, mohair, and silk fibers are obtained from the animals, the sheep, goat, and silk worm, hence they are called animal fibers.

7. Detach from the sample of cotton cloth a filling thread and separate it into fibers. These are cotton fibers and are obtained from the cotton plant.

8. Examine the sample of linen, a filling thread and its fibers. Linen is composed of fibers obtained from the flax plant.

9. Cotton and linen fibers are obtained from plants, and are called vegetable fibers. There are other vegetable fibers such as jute, hemp, ramie, pineapple, etc., but cotton and linen are the most important.

10. Name the most valuable fibers for textile use.


1. Of what is cloth composed?

2. Of what does yarn consist?

3. How are the fibers made to join in one long thread? (See Experiment 1.)

4. Of what fibers are woolen and worsted goods composed?

5. Of what animal is wool the covering?

6. Of what fibers is mohair composed?

7. From what animal is mohair obtained?

8. Of what does the silk fiber consist?

9. What are the animal fibers?

10. Why are they called animal fibers?

11. Of what fibers is cotton cloth composed?

12. From what plant are cotton fibers obtained?

13. From what plant is the linen fiber obtained?

14. What are the most important vegetable fibers?

15. Name four other vegetable fibers.

16. Why are these fibers called vegetable fibers?

Experiment 8—Wool Fiber

Apparatus: Pick glass, microscope, 2 pine cones, foot-rule. Materials: Raw wool, woolen yarn. Reference: Textiles, chapter i.


1. Separate a strand of woolen yarn into fibers. Examine both these fibers and fibers pulled from the raw wool. Would you describe these fibers as coarse or fine?

2. How do the fibers feel to touch?

3. Test the strength of the wool fibers by trying to break them.

4. Measure the length of several fibers.

5. Why was it difficult to straighten the fibers to measure them?

6. Extend the fiber to its full length, then release. How does this prove the fiber to be elastic?

7. Examine the fibers under the microscope. Describe. Notice that the wool fiber is cylindrical in shape. Notice that it is covered with scales which overlap much as do the tiles of a roof or the spines of a pine cone.

8. Hold one pine cone with the spines pointing upward. With the spines of the other pointing downward press the second cone down on the first. What happens? Just so the scales or points of the wool fibers hook into one another and interlock. These scales or serrations give to the wool fiber its chief characteristic which is the power of interlocking known as felting or shrinking.

9. See Textiles, page 2, the drawing of a magnified wool fiber. Make a drawing of a wool fiber.

10. Examine under the microscope a hair from your head. Wool is only a variety of hair. Notice that the scales on the hair lie close to the stem and do not project as in the woolen fiber, hence hair fibers cannot interlock as wool fibers do. The scales lying close to the hair give a smooth surface to the fiber and make luster a characteristic.

11. Compare the wool fiber with hair, noting two differences.


1. With what is the wool fiber covered?

2. Of what advantage are these scales or points?

3. What is the chief characteristic of wool?

4. What is meant by the shrinking or felting power?

5. Name five characteristics of the wool fiber.

Experiment 9—Mohair Fiber

Apparatus: Microscope, foot-rule. Materials: Wool fibers, mohair fibers, sample of mohair brilliantine. References: Textiles, pages 1, 37, 97.


1. Pull a mohair fiber from the fleece. Hold it up to the light. Describe the fiber as you see it.

2. Hold a mohair fiber and a wool fiber side by side to the light. Note the differences.

3. Measure several mohair fibers.

4. Examine the mohair fiber under the microscope. The fiber is covered with scales, but they lie close to the fiber and do not project in points as do the scales on the wool fiber, hence mohair will not felt to any degree.

5. The Angora goat of Asia Minor furnishes the mohair. This goat is being raised in the western states of the United States now.

6. Detach from the sample of mohair brilliantine a warp thread; a filling thread. Which is mohair? Which is cotton?

7. What word would describe the feel of mohair brilliantine? the appearance?

8. What are the characteristics of the mohair fiber?

9. What are the uses of mohair? Mohair is used in the manufacture of plushes, dress fabrics, and imitation furs.


1. Why will mohair not felt as wool does?

2. The scales lying close to the stem will have what effect on the surface of the fiber?

3. What effect will a smooth surface have on light?

4. What characteristic is given to mohair from the fact that the smooth surface reflects light?

5. From what animal is mohair obtained in greatest quantity?

6. Where is mohair being grown in the United States?

Experiment 10—Cotton Fiber

Apparatus: Microscope, foot-rule. Materials: Tuft of cotton fibers, cotton ball, seeds. Reference: Textiles, chapter ix, page 105.


1. Hold a tuft of cotton fibers tightly between the fingers and thumb of each hand and pull apart with a jerk. What is your judgment of the strength of the staple (fiber)?

2. Loosen gently the fibers of one of the tufts you have pulled apart. What is the feel of cotton? the appearance as you hold it to the light?

3. Detach several fibers one by one. How does the length compare with that of the wool and mohair? Measure and record the length of three fibers.

4. How do cotton fibers compare in fineness with wool fibers?

5. Compare the elasticity of cotton with that of wool.

6. Examine the cotton fibers under the microscope. Observe that the enlarged fiber looks like a twisted ribbon. When the fiber was growing it was cylindrical in shape. When ripe the plant drew back its life-giving fluid from the fiber and it collapsed and twisted like a corkscrew. The twist is peculiar to the cotton, being present in no other fiber. The twist makes the cotton fiber suitable for spinning, helping to hold the short fibers together.

7. Read of the cotton plant from Textiles, chapter ix.

8. The four chief cotton producing countries are the United States, Egypt, India, Brazil.

9. There are several classifications of cotton. The most common are Sea Island (in the lead); Egyptian (a close second); Uplands (that of the United States, southern part); and Peruvian.

10. Uplands is the most common cotton of our South.


1. What characteristic causes the cotton fiber to be easily recognized under the microscope?

2. Why does the twist render the cotton fiber suitable for spinning?

3. What are the characteristics of the cotton fiber?

4. Why is cotton known as a vegetable fiber?

5. Name the chief cotton producing countries.

6. What are the most common classifications of cotton?

7. What is the finest growth of cotton? (Sea Island commands at the present time $1.00 a lb., while Middling Uplands brings 15 cents.)

8. Where is cotton known as Upland Cotton grown?

Experiment 11—Silk Fiber

Apparatus: Tripod, alcohol lamp, small pan of water, lead pencil. Material: Silk cocoon. Reference: Textiles, chapter xvii, page 203.


1. Place the cocoon in a small pan of water. Apply heat to the pan until the water boils. The cocoon is placed in hot water to soften the glue which holds the fibers together.

2. Remove the outside loose fibers which cannot be reeled. This tangled silk on the outside of the cocoon is called floss.

3. Brush the finger over the cocoon to find the loose ends. Unwind carefully until you find a continuous end. Wind or reel the silk fiber over a lead pencil.

4. The silk fiber is the most beautiful and perfect of all fibers.

5. Hold the cocoon to the light as you reel. How does the silk fiber compare in fineness with the wool and cotton fibers?

6. The silk fiber is from 1000 to 4000 feet long. Unlike the other fibers the silk fiber is already a thread.

7. How does light effect the silk fiber? When the gum is thoroughly washed off the silk takes on its luster which is its chief characteristic.

8. Break the fiber after you have reeled a small quantity. Notice how the fiber springs back. Extend and release again. What characteristic does this illustrate?

9. Examine the silk fiber under the microscope. Notice that it is round and smooth and resembles a glass rod. It shows what appear to be two fibers united by the gum secreted at the same time that the fiber was formed. Describe the silk fiber as it appears under the microscope.

10. Silk is taken from the reel and twisted into a skein of raw silk and thus exported.

11. The manufacture in the United States begins with raw silk. It is handled here first by the throwster who winds it from the skein and makes different varieties of thread.


1. Why is the silk cocoon first placed in hot water?

2. What is known as floss?

3. What is meant by silk reeling?

4. What can you say of the length of the silk fiber?

5. In what way does the silk fiber differ from the other fibers?

6. What is the chief characteristic of the silk fiber?

7. What are other characteristics of the silk fiber?

8. In what form is silk exported?

9. In what countries is most of the raw silk produced? (See Textiles, page 206.)

10. With what does the silk manufacture in the United States begin?

11. Who is the throwster and what is his work?

Experiment 12—Linen Fiber

Apparatus: Microscope. Material: Flax fibers. Reference: Textiles, chapter xv, page 193.


1. The linen fiber is obtained from the flax plant. Certain fibers, such as flax, jute, and ramie, are obtained from the stem of the plant, hence are known as bast fibers, and flax is the most important bast fiber.

2. It is difficult to separate the flax or linen fiber from the woody part of the stem. The process is called retting, which is really rotting by soaking the stem in water.

3. Before the fibers are entirely free from the woody part of the plant they undergo the processes of beating, breaking, scutching, hackling, etc.

4. Read the account of each process. See Textiles, pages 194, 195.

5. Measure and record the length of two linen fibers.

6. Test the strength by trying to break the fiber.

7. Test for elasticity.

8. What is the appearance of the linen fiber when held to the light?

9. What is the color of the fiber? What is the process called by which linen is whitened? (Bleaching.)

10. Examine the flax fibers under the microscope. Observe that the fibers look like long cylindrical tubes. Describe the appearance of linen fibers under the microscope.

11. The best flax is grown in Belgium and Ireland.


1. From what part of the plant are bast fibers obtained?

2. Name some bast fibers.

3. What is the most important bast fiber?

4. What is retting?

5. For what purpose is linen subjected to retting?

6. Through what five processes does the flax fiber pass before it is free?

7. Where is the best flax grown?

Experiment 13—Carding

Apparatus: A pair of hand cards. Material: Small quantity of scoured wool. References: Textiles, pages 39 and 50.


1. Examine the hand cards. Notice that there is a foundation of several layers of leather. Notice that this foundation is covered with staples of steel wire. Notice that the staples are shaped like the letter U with the points turned one way. The covering of the hand cards is called card clothing.

2. Hold one hand card in the left hand, face up, wires pointing to the left. Spread the wool over the pointed wires of this card.

3. Hold the other card in the right hand, face down, with the wires pointing to the right. Bring the pointed wires of this card down on the wool and drag it lightly through the wires of the other card. Repeat several times.

4. You have been carding wool. The sharp points have been tearing the wool apart or disentangling the fibers. Carding brushes the fibers out smooth and makes them somewhat parallel. It forms them into a thin sheet.

5. The wool must be carded many times before it is sufficiently disentangled for drawing and spinning. In order to card again the hand card must be stripped of the wool so that it may be dragged again through the staples.

6. Hold the hand card, which is in your right hand, erect. Notice that the wires point downward. Move the other hand downward over the wires. Notice that the surface is smooth. The points do not prick as they will if you try to brush the hand upwards over the wires.

7. Hold the card in the left hand in a similar position. Raise and bring the sharp wires of this card down on the smooth surface of the other card and strip it of its wool.

8. Card again, then strip again. Repeat several times until the fibers are thoroughly disentangled.

9. This carding and stripping, once done by hand, is now done in the mill by a power machine called the card. (See picture, Textiles, page 38.) Notice that instead of cards this machine consists of rollers or cylinders. Some are carding cylinders and some are stripping cylinders. The principle is the same as that of the hand cards. The wool is carded and stripped again and again and is finally delivered in a soft, fluffy rope called a sliver ready for drawing and spinning.


1. What is the covering of the hand card called?

2. Describe card clothing.

3. What does carding do to the wool?

4. When the sharp wires of one cylinder meet the sharp pointed wires of another cylinder what is the action on the wool?

5. If the sharp points of one cylinder meet the smooth surface of another cylinder what happens to the wool on that cylinder?

6. In what form does the wool finally leave the machine? What name is given to this fluffy rope?

7. How was carding done in the early days? How is it done now?

8. In what way is the principle of the hand cards the same as that of the card of the mill?

Experiment 14—Drawing and Spinning

Apparatus: Foot-rule, elastic band. Material: Small quantity of scoured wool. References: Textiles, pages 4, 44, 134; Sections: Spinning: Mule Spinning.

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