by William H. Dooley
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Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by equal signs was in bold face in the original (bold).

Additional notes will be found at the end of the book.


For Commercial, Industrial, and Domestic Arts Schools; Also Adapted to Those Engaged in Wholesale and Retail Dry Goods, Wool, Cotton, and Dressmaker's Trades


WILLIAM H. DOOLEY Principal Lowell Industrial School Lowell, Mass.

Revised Edition With Experiments

D. C. Heath & Company Boston New York Chicago

Copyright, 1910, 1912, and 1914, by D. C. Heath and Company


The author established and since its inception has been in charge of the first industrial school for boys and girls in Massachusetts. At an early date he recognized the need of special text-books to meet the demand of young people who are attending vocational schools. There are plenty of books written on textiles for technical school students and advanced workers. But the author has failed to find a book explaining the manufacture and testing of textiles for commercial, industrial, domestic arts, and continuation schools, and for those who have just entered the textile or allied trades. This book is written to meet this educational need. Others may find the book of interest, particularly the chapters describing cotton, woolen, worsted, and silk fabrics.

The author is under obligations to Mr. Franklin W. Hobbs, treasurer of the Arlington Mills, for permission to use illustrations and information from literature published by the Arlington Mills; to Mr. S. H. Ditchett, editor of Dry Goods Economist, for permission to use information from his publication, "Dry Goods Encyclopedia"; to the editor of the Textile Mercury; to Frank P. Bennett, of the American Wool and Cotton Reporter, for permission to use information from "Cotton Fabrics Glossary"; and to the instructors of the Lawrence Industrial School for valuable information. In addition, information has been obtained from the great body of textile literature, which the author desires to acknowledge.



FIBERS PAGE Animal Fibers—Wool, Silk, Mohair. Vegetable—Cotton, Flax, Jute, Hemp. Mineral—Asbestos, Tinsel, Metallic. Remanufactured Material—Noils, Mungo, Shoddy, Extract, and Flocks. Artificial Fibers—Spun Glass, Artificial Silk, Slag Wool. Structure of Wool. Characteristics of Wool. Classification of Wool. Carpet and Knitting Wools. Sheep Shearing. Variation in Weight of Fleeces. Shipping the Fleeces. Value of Wool Business. Saxony and Silesian Wool, Australian Wool, Port Philip Wool, Sydney Wool, Adelaide Wool, Van Wool from Tasmania, New Zealand Wool, Cape Wools, Wools from South America, Russian Wool, Great Britain Wools, Lincoln, Leicester, Southdown, Shropshire; Cashmere Wools, Norfolkdown and Suffolkdown Wools, Cheviot Wool, Welsh Wools, Shetland Wools, Irish Wools, Mohair, Alpaca Wool. How Wool is Marketed 1



Sorting. Classing Grades of Wool. Merino Wool. Difference between Lamb's and Sheep's Wool. Pulled Wool. Delaine Wool. Wool Sorter. Wool Washing, Wool Drying, Oiling. Burring and Carbonizing. Bur Picker, Blending 16



Wool Substitutes and Waste Remanufactured—Noils, Shoddy, and Mungo. Methods of Producing Shoddy and Mungo—Dusting, Sorting, Seaming, Oiling, Grinding. Extract Wool. Flocks 32



Carding, Combing. Worsted Tops—Gill Boxes. Different methods of Spinning—Bradford or English System, French System. Structure of Worsted Yarn. Uses of Worsted Yarn. Counts of Worsted Yarn 39



Operations in Producing Woolen Yarn—Washing, Carding, Spinning, Mule Spinning. Counts of Woolen Yarn. Uses of Woolen Yarn 50



Preparatory to Weaving—Warp. Weaving—Weaving Processes, Classes of Weave—Plain or Homespun Weave, Twill, Satin Weaves, Figure Weaving (Jacquard apparatus), Double Cloth, Pile Weaving, Gauze Weaving, Lappet Weaving 53



Dyeing. Wool Dyeing, Piece Dyed, Cross Dyed, Yarn Dyed. Style—Designing, Finishing, Perching, Burling, Mending, Fulling, Crabbing, Tentering, Napping, Pressing. Theories of Coloring in Textile Design. Various Methods of Employing Fancy Shades. Adulteration 65



Albatross, Alpaca, Corded Alpaca, Angora, Astrakhan, Bandanna, Beaver (Fur Beaver), Bedford Cord, Beige, Bindings, Bombazine, Bottany, Boucle, Broadcloth, Bunting, Caniche, Cashmere, Cashmere Double, Cassimere, Castor, Challis, Cheviot (Diagonal or Chevron), Chinchilla, Chudah, Corduroy, Cote Cheval, Coupure, Covert, Delaine, Doeskin, Drap d'Ete, Empress Cloth, Epingline, Etamine, Felt, Flannel, Dress Flannel, French Flannel, Shaker Flannel, Indigo Blue, Mackinaw, Navy Twilled Flannel, Silk Warp, Baby Flannel. Florentine, Foule, Frieze, Gloria, Granada, Grenadine, Henrietta Cloth, Homespun, Hop Sacking, Jeans, Kersey, Kerseymere, Linsey Woolsey, Melrose, Melton, Meltonette, Merino, Mohair Brilliantine, Montagnac, Orleans, Panama Cloth, Prunella, Sacking, Sanglier, Sebastopol, Serge, Shoddy, Sicilian, Sultane, Tamise, Tartans, Thibet, Tricot, Tweed, Veiling, Venetian, Vigogne (Vicuna), Vigoureux, Voiles, Whipcord, Worsted Diagonals, Zephyr, Zibeline 83



Rough Peruvian, East Indian, Egyptian, Sea Island. American Crop—Planting, Picking, Ginning—Roller Gins, Saw Gins. Cotton Gin. Information on the Leading Growths of Cotton. Grades—Full Grades, Half Grades, Quarter Grades. Varieties—Sea Island (selected), Sea Island (ordinary), Florida Sea Island, Georgia, Egyptian, Peeler, Orleans or Gulf Upland, Texas 105



Picker Room, Carding Machine, Combing, Drawing. Flyer Frames—Intermediate Frame, Roving Frame, Fine or Jack Frame Spinning—Mule Spinning, Ring Spinning 125



Manufacturing Processes. Thread Numbers. Sizing. Cotton Finishing—Bleaching, Starching, Calendering, Mercerizing. Characteristics of fine Cotton Cloth 139



Knitting Machines. Stripe Knitting, Knitting Cotton, Knitting Silk, Hosiery Manufacture, Finishing Process 153



Needlepoint Lace. Pillow Lace. Lace Terms Defined 164



Albatross, Awning, Batiste, Bourrette, Bedford Cord, Buckram, Calico, Cambric, Canvas, Chambray, Cheesecloth, Chine, Chintz, Cotton Flannel, Crash, Crepe, Crepon, Cretonne, Crinoline, Damask, Denim, Diaper, Dimity, Domet, Duck, Drill, Eolienne, Etamine, Flannelette, Fustian, Galatea Cloth, Gauze, Gingham, Italian Cloth, Jaconet, Khaki, Lawn, Lingerie, Linon, Long Cloth, Madras, Moreen, Mull, Mummy, Muslin, Nainsook, Organdie, Osnaburg, Percale, Percaline, Pique, Poplin, Plumetis, Rep, Sateen, Scrim, Silesia, Souffle, Swiss, Tape, Tarletan, Terry Cloth, Zephyr Gingham 173



Physical Structure. Uses. Mechanical Processes—Crushing or Beating, Breaking, Scutching, Hackling, Bleaching. Characteristics of Good Linen, Notes on Table Linen 193



Bast Fibers, Sisal Hemp, Manila Hemp, Ramie, Jute 199



Cocoons. Raw Silk. Silk-producing Countries—China, Japan, Italy, Southern France, Greece, Turkey, Western Asia. Throwing. Thrown Silk—Tram, Crepe Yarn. Embroidery Silk. Sewing Silk. Silk Waste, Spun Silk, Floss Silk. Ribbons, Silk Thread, Silk Cord. Dyeing Yarns. Silk Dyeing. Logwood Black Silk Dyeing—(1) Boiling Off, (2) Mordanting, (3) Blue Bottoming, (4) "Weighting" Bath, (5) Mordanting, (6) Dyeing. Colored Silks. Mixed Silk Fabrics. Ribbons, Velvets, Printing, Finishing, Waterproofing 203



Alma, Barege, Bengaline, Berber, Brocade, Brocatel, Bombazine, Chenille, Chiffon, China Silk, Crepe, Crepe de Chine, Eolienne, Foulard, Glace, India Silk, Japanese Silk, Jersey Cloth, Meteor, Moire, Mozambique, Organzine, Panne, Peau de Soie, Plush, Pongee, Popeline, Poplin, Figured Poplin, Terry Poplin, Sarsenet, Satin, Soleil, Taffeta, Tulle, Velour, Velvet, Velveteen, Tabby Velvet, Voile 219



Silk Cotton, Artificial Silk, Tests 230



Wool Pulp, Ramie, Pineapple Fibers, Spun Glass, Metallic Threads, Slag Wool, Asbestos 232


Determining Style of Weave. Tests for Strength and Elasticity. Determining Count of Warp and Filling, Shrinkage, Weight. Tests for Constituents of Warp and Filling, for Vegetable and Animal Fibers. Acid Test. Cotton Distinguished from Linen, Silk from Wool, Artificial Silk from Silk. Test for Shoddy. Determination of Dressing. Test for Permanence of Dyes 235

History of Textiles. History of the Organization of Textile Industries. History of Manufacturing. History of Lace 245


Experiments 1 to 62 267

Sources of Supply 319

Index 323




All the materials used in the manufacture of clothing are called textiles and are made of either long or short fibers. These fibers can be made into a continuous thread. When two different sets of threads are interlaced, the resulting product is called cloth.

The value of any fiber for textile purposes depends entirely upon the possession of such qualities as firmness, length, curl, softness, elasticity, etc., which adapt it for spinning. The number of fibers that possess these qualities is small, and may be classified as follows:

Animal Fibers: Wool, Silk, Mohair.

Vegetable Fibers: Cotton, Flax, Jute, Hemp, etc.

Mineral Fibers: Asbestos, Tinsel, and other metallic fibers.

Remanufactured Material: Noils, Mungo, Shoddy, Extract, and Flocks.

Artificial Fibers: Spun Glass, Artificial Silk, and Slag Wool.

The Structure of Wool. A large part of the people of the world have always used wool for their clothing. Wool is the soft, curly covering which forms the fleecy coat of the sheep and similar animals, such as the goat and alpaca. Wool fiber when viewed under the microscope is seen to consist roughly of three parts:

1st. Epidermis, or outer surface, which is a series of scales lying one upon the other.

2d. Cortex, or intermediate substance, consisting of angular, elongated cells, which give strength to the wool.

3d. Medulla, or pith of the fiber.

Difference between Wool and Hair. Not all animal fibers are alike. They vary in fineness, softness, length, and strength, from the finest Merino wool to the rigid bristles of the wild boar. At just what point it can be said that the animal fiber ceases to be wool and becomes hair, is difficult to determine, because there is a gradual and imperceptible gradation from wool to hair.[1] The distinction between wool and hair lies chiefly in the great fineness, softness, and wavy delicacy of the woolen fiber, combined with its highly serrated surface—upon which the luster of the wool depends.

Characteristics of Wool. The chief characteristic of wool is its felting or shrinking power. This felting property from which wool derives much of its value, and which is its special distinction from hair, depends in part upon the kinks in the fiber, but mainly upon the scales with which the fiber is covered. These scales or points are exceedingly minute, ranging from about 1,100 to the inch to nearly 3,000. The stem of the fiber itself is extremely slender, being less than one thousandth of an inch in diameter. In good felting wools the scales are more perfect and numerous, while inferior wools generally possess fewer serrations, and are less perfect in structure.

In the process of felting the fibers become entangled with one another, and the little projecting scales hook into one another and hold the fibers closely interlocked. The deeper these scales fit into one another the closer becomes the structure of the thread.

Classification of Wool. The various kinds of wool used in commerce are named either from the breed of the sheep or from the country or locality in which the sheep are reared. Thus we get Merino wool from Merino sheep, while English, American, and Australian wools are named from the respective countries. As the result of cross breeding of different sheep in different parts of the world, under different climatic conditions, physical surroundings, and soil, there exist a great many varieties of wool. The wool of commerce is divided into three great classes: (1) Short wool or clothing wool (also called carding wool), seldom exceeding a length of two to four inches; (2) long wool or combing wool, varying from four to ten inches; (3) carpet and knitting wools, which are long, strong, and very coarse.

The distinction between clothing or carding wools on the one hand, and combing wools on the other, is an old one. Combing wools are so called because they are prepared for spinning[2] into yarn by the process of "combing"—that is, the fibers are made to lie parallel with one another preparatory to being spun into thread. Carding wools—made to cross and interlace and interlock with one another—are shorter than combing wools, and in addition they possess to a much greater degree the power of felting—that is, of matting together in a close compact mass. Combing wools, on the other hand, are not only longer than the carding wools, but they are also harder, more wiry, and less inclined to be spiral or kinky. It must be understood, however, that under the present methods of manufacture, short wools may be combed and spun by the French method of spinning just as the long wools are combed and spun by the Bradford or English system.

Carpet and knitting wools are the cheapest, coarsest, and harshest sorts of wools. They come principally from Russia, Turkey, China, Greece, Peru, Chili, etc., and from the mountain districts of England and Scotland. Carpet wools approach more nearly to hair than other wools. The only staple of this class produced in the United States is grown on the original Mexican sheep of the great Southwest. Few of these Mexican sheep are left, for they have been improved by cross breeding, but they constitute the foundation stock of most of our Western flocks, which now produce superior clothing and combing wool.

Sheep Shearing. In order to get an idea of the importance of the sheep industry in the United States, one must take a glance at its condition in the big states of the West. Wyoming has more than 4,600,000 sheep within its borders. Montana, which held the record until 1909, has 4,500,000 sheep. Then comes Idaho with 2,500,000, Oregon with 2,000,000, and so on down the list until the nation's total reaches 40,000,000 sheep, four-fifths of which are west of the Missouri river.

To harvest the wool from such an enormous number of backs is a task that calls for expert shearers, men who can handle the big shears of the machine clippers with a skill that comes from long practise. The shearing must be done at the right time of the year. If the wool is clipped too early, the sheep suffer from the cold; if the shearing comes too late, the sheep suffer from intense heat, and in either case are bound to lose weight and value.

To meet the exacting conditions a class of men has risen expert in the sheep-shearing business. These shearers begin work in southern and middle California, Utah, etc. Another month finds them busy in the great sheep states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon, where they find steady employment until July, when they go to the ranges of Canada. In this way the shearers keep busy nearly all the year, and at high wages.

The Mexicans are particularly expert with the hand shears, though this form of clipping is being done away with, owing to the installation of power plants for machine shearing. These plants are installed at various points on the great sheep ranges. Long sheds are erected and shafting extends down both sides of the shearing place. Twenty or more shearers will be lined up in one of these sheds, each man operating a clipping machine connected with the shafting. The sheep are brought in from the range in bands of 2,500 or more, and are put in the corrals adjoining the shearing sheds. Then they are driven down chutes to the shearers.

A shearer reaches into a small corral behind him and pulls out a sheep. With a dexterous fling the animal is put in a sitting posture between the shearer's knees, and then the steel clippers begin clipping off the wool. The machine-shearing saves much wool, as it gets closer to the skin of the sheep and shears more evenly. In fact, some sheep owners say that the increased weight of their fleeces at each shearing is enough to pay the extra expense of running a power plant.

As fast as the sheep are turned out by the shearers they are run along a narrow chute and each one is branded. The branding mark is usually a letter painted on the back of the sheep so that it can be plainly seen when they are coming through a chute. The mark remains on the fleece and is always easily distinguished.

Fleece. There is a great variation in the weight of fleeces. Some sheep, such as those on the best ranges in Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming, will average an eight-pound fleece full of natural oil, while sheep from the more sterile alkaline ranges of New Mexico will not average much more than five pounds of wool.

The shearing season on the plains is much like the threshing season in agricultural communities. With a crew of first-class shearers working in a shearing shed, it is not long until the floor is a sea of wool. Boys are kept busy picking up the fleeces, tying them into compact bundles, and throwing them to the men who have been assigned to the task of filling the wool sacks. These sacks, which hold about 400 pounds, are suspended from a wooden framework, and as fast as the fleeces are thrown in, they are tramped down until the sacks will not hold a pound more. Most of the sacks are shipped to warehouses in such wool centers as Casper, Wyoming, or Billings, Montana, the latter place being the greatest wool shipping center in the world. Here they are sold to Eastern buyers, who examine the clips at their leisure and make their bids.

Value of Wool Business. Some idea of the fortunes at stake in the wool business can be gathered from the fact that the total wool product of the country in 1909 was valued at $78,263,165. It is expected that the returns from the wool clip in a fairly good year will pay all a sheepman's running expenses, such as hire of herders, cost of shearing, etc. He then has the sale of his lambs as clear profit. Enormous fortunes are being made in the sheep business in the west, owing to the high price of wool and mutton.

Saxony and Silesian Wool. Among wools of all classes the Saxony and Silesian take the first place, and for general good qualities, fineness, and regularity of fiber, they are unequalled. The fiber is short in staple, possesses good felting properties, and is strong and elastic. This wool is used chiefly in the manufacture of cloths where much milling[3] is required, such as superfines and dress-faced fabrics.

Australian Wools. Australia furnishes wools of a superior character, and some of the choicest clips rival the Saxony and Silesian wools. They are used both for worsted[4] and woolen yarns. They are generally strong and of an elastic character, possess numerous serrations, and are of good color, with good felting properties. The principal Australian wools are Port Philip, Sydney, and Adelaide wools. These are the best brands imported from that country.

Port Philip Wool. Port Philip wool is suitable for either worsted or woolen yarns. The fiber is not quite as fine as Saxony, but it makes a good thread, is fairly sound in staple, and is of good length and color. It is very wavy and serrated. The longest and best of this wool is used for the very finest worsted yarns, and will spin up to 130's counts.[5] The sheep are descendants of the original Spanish Merino. Cross bred Port Philip wool is from the same Merino sheep crossed with Leicesters, which yield a medium quality fleece of sound fiber and good quality for spinning counts from 40's to 56's. The yarn has a bright, clear appearance.

Sydney Wools. Sydney wools are moderately fine in fiber and of medium length. They are rather deficient in strength, uneven in color, and often contain yellow locks which make them undesirable when required for dyeing light shades. They are used for nearly the same purpose as Port Philip wools, but do not spin quite as far in worsted yarns, nor are they equal in milling qualities.

Adelaide Wool. Adelaide wool has a reputation for sound Merinos, the average quality being a little lower than for the Port Philip and Sydney wools. Its fiber is moderately fine, but not of uniform length; its color is not so good, and it contains a large amount of yolk.[6] Adelaide wool is used for worsted dress goods, weft (filling)[7] yarn up to 60's, and certain worsted warps.[7] It is used for medium fancy woolens.

Van Wool from Tasmania. The climate of this island is well suited to the growing of wool, and produces excellent qualities, fine in fiber, of good length, and strong in the staple, which will spin as high counts as 70's and 80's worsted. This wool is useful for mixing with other good wools. Its color is very white, which makes it a useful wool for dyeing light shades. Its milling properties are good, and the shorter sorts are suitable for woolens.

New Zealand Wools are very supple, which make them valuable to the spinner. These wools are suitable for almost all classes of Merino and crossbred yarns. They are of good length, sound staple, have good felting properties, and are of good color. They are useful for blending with mungo and shoddy, to give to these remanufactured materials that springy, bulky character which they lack.

Cape Wools. Cape Colony and Natal produce merino wool that is somewhat short in staple, rather tender, and less wavy than some other wools. The sheep are not so well cared for, and are fed on the leaves of a small shrub. The absence of grass leaves the ground very sandy, and this makes the fleece heavy and dirty. Its color is fair, but it lacks elasticity. It is used chiefly to cheapen blends[8] of 60's top.[9] The short wool is combed for thick counts for weft and hosiery, and is also used for shawls and cloths where felting is not an essential feature.

Wools from South America. These wools are of the same standard of excellence as the Australian wools, but they are generally deficient in strength and elasticity. Buenos Ayres and Montevideo wools are fairly fine in fiber, but lack strength and elasticity, and are deficient in milling properties; they are also burry. The climate suits the sheep well, and the feed is good, but the careless methods of classing and packing have earned for these wools a poor reputation that is well deserved.

The best 60's wool is combed in oil, but a large portion of the shorter is combed and used in thick counts,—20's to 36's worsted for the hosiery trade.

Russian Wool. The staple of this is generally strong, and the fibers are of a medium thickness; the color is milky white. It is useful to blend with Australian or other good wools. It produces a good yarn, and is very often used in the fancy woolen trade and in fabrics that require to be finished in the natural color.

Great Britain Wools. These may be divided into three groups: (1) long wools, of which the Lincoln and Leicester are typical examples; (2) short wools, which include Southdown, Shropshire, Suffolk, and others; and (3) wool from the mountain or hilly breeds of sheep, such as the Cheviot, Scotch Blackface, Shetland, Irish, and Welsh.

Lincoln Wool is a typical wool obtained from the long wool sheep, and noted for its long, lustrous fiber, which is silky and strong. The staple varies from ten to eighteen inches in length, and the average fleece will yield from ten to fourteen pounds in weight.

Leicester Wool has a somewhat finer fiber than Lincoln. It is a valuable wool, of good color, uniform and sound in staple, curly, with good, bright luster and no dark hairs. While luster wools are grown extensively in England, they also grow in Indiana and Kentucky, and are commonly known in the trade as braid wool.

Southdown is one of the most valuable of short staple wools. It possesses a fine hair, is close and wavy, and fairly sound in staple, but rather deficient in milling qualities. The shorter varieties are carded and made into flannels and other light fabrics, while the longer qualities are used in the production of worsted goods. The weight of a Southdown fleece averages from four to five pounds.

Shropshiredown wool is of good quality, with strong, fine, lustrous fiber, of good length. It resembles Southdown, but is not as lustrous as mohair, the natural colors being either white, black, brown, or fawn. It is used chiefly in the manufacture of dress goods.

Cashmere Wool is the fine, woolly, extremely soft, white or gray fur of the Cashmere goat which is bred in Thibet. There are two kinds of fiber obtained: one, which is really the outer covering, consists of long tufts of hair; underneath this is the Cashmere wool of commerce, a soft, downy wool of a brownish-gray tint, with a fine, silky fiber. It is used for making the costly oriental (Indian) shawls and the finest wraps.

The Norfolkdown and Suffolkdown Wools are fairly fine in fiber and soft, but slightly deficient in strength and elasticity.

Cheviot Wool may be taken as representative of the hilly breeds of sheep. It is an average wool, with staple of medium length, soft, and with strong and regular fiber; it is of a good, bright color, and possesses desirable milling properties, being used for both woolen and worsted, but chiefly in the fancy woolen trade. The average weight of the fleece is about 4-1/2 pounds. The black-faced or Highland breed yields a medium wool, coarser and more shaggy than the Cheviot, and varying much in quality. It is almost all used in the production of rugs, carpets, and blankets.

Welsh Wools lack waviness and fineness of fiber. They are chiefly used for flannels.

Shetland Wools are similar in character to Welsh wools, but slightly finer in fiber and softer. They are used in the manufacture of knitted goods, such as shawls and wraps. They lack felting properties.

Irish Wools possess a strong, thick hair of moderate length and fine color. They are similar in many respects to the Welsh wools, and are often classed with them. They are used in the production of low and medium tweeds—fancy woolen cloths not requiring small yarns or milling qualities.

Mohair is a lustrous wool obtained from the Angora goat, which derives its name from the district of Asia Minor from which it comes. These animals have also been successfully bred in Spain and France. The hair is pure white, fine, wavy, and of good length, and possesses a high luster. It is used in making plushes, velvets, astrakhans, and curled fabrics, also half silk goods and fine wraps.

Alpaca Wool is the fleece of the Peruvian sheep, which is a species of llama. The staple is of good length and soft, but is not quite as lustrous as mohair, the natural colors being either white, black, brown, or fawn. It is used chiefly in the manufacture of dress goods.

How Wool is Marketed. The bulk of the wool of commerce comes into the market in the form of fleece wool, the product of a single year's growth, and cut from the body of the animal usually in April or May. The first and finest clip, called lamb's wool, may be taken from the young sheep at the age of eight to twelve months. All subsequently cut fleeces are known as wether wool and possess relatively somewhat less value than the first clip.


[1] Hair is straight and glossy, stronger and smoother than wool, and grows sometimes as long as twenty inches.

[2] Spinning is a process by which long or short fibers are twisted into a continuous thread.

[3] A process of finishing cloth by condensing the fibers so as to make the cloth stronger and firmer.

[4] See footnote, page 39.

[5] The size of yarn is technically called the "counts" and is based on the number of 560 yard lengths required to weigh one pound. In this case 130's count = 130 x 560, or 72,800 yards of yarn to a pound.

[6] An encrusting compound of dirt and grease formed on the fleece.

[7] See page 54.

[8] Mixtures.

[9] After wool fibers are combed they are called top.



Fleece wool as it comes to the mill is rolled up in bundles and must be sorted. This process consists in sorting and classifying the fibers of the fleece. Not only do the various species of sheep furnish widely different qualities of wool, but different qualities are obtained from the same animal, according to the part of the body from which the wool is taken. This variation in some instances is very marked, and sometimes is greater than that which separates the wools of the different breeds of sheep. Hence the sorting and classing of wool become necessary for the production of good, sound yarn of even quality.

An attempt to utilize the fleece as a whole would result in the spinning of uneven, faulty, and unsatisfactory yarns. As many as twelve or fourteen sorts may be obtained from one fleece (by very fine sorting), but generally not more than five or seven are made. The following table shows the relative qualities of wools from the various parts of a Merino sheep:

1 and 2. Head (top and sides): The wools grown on these parts are remarkable for length of staple, softness, and uniformity of character. They are usually the choicest wools in the fleece.

3. Upper part of the back: This also is a wool of good, sound quality, resembling in staples Nos. 1 and 2, but not as soft or as fine of fiber.

4. Loin and back: The staple here is comparatively short, not as fine, but generally of unvarying character, sometimes rather tender.

5. Upper parts of legs: This wool is medium in length but coarse of fiber, and has a tendency to hang in loose, open locks. It is generally sound, but likely to contain vegetable matter.

6. Upper portion of the neck: The staple clipped from this part of the neck is of an inferior quality, frequently faulty and irregular in growth, and contains twigs, thorns, etc.

7. Central part of the neck: This wool is similar to No. 6 but rather tender in staple.

8. Belly: This wool is from under the sheep, between the fore and hind legs. It is short and dirty, poor in quality, and generally tender.

9. Root of tail: In this wool the fibers are coarse, short, and glossy.

10. Lower parts of the legs: This wool is generally dirty and greasy, the staple having no wave and lacking fineness. It is generally burry and contains much vegetable matter.

11. Front of Head; 12. Throat; 13. Chest: The wools from these parts are sometimes classed together, all having the same characteristics. The fiber is stiff, straight, coarse, and covered with fodder.

14. Shins: This is another short, thick, straight wool of glossy fiber, commonly known as shanks.

Classing. Classing is a grading of the fleeces, and is usually, but not always, a process preliminary to sorting. It is an important part of sorting, and when well done greatly facilitates the making of good, uniform matchings.

Grades of Wool. In the grading of wool no set standard of quality exists. The same classification may be applied in different years, or in different localities, to qualities of wool showing much variation, the best grade obtainable usually setting the standard for the lower grades. The highest quality of wool in the United States is found on full-blooded Merino sheep.

Merino Wool. The Merino sheep was bred for wool and not mutton. The fleece of this breed is fine, strong, elastic, and of good color; it also possesses a high felting power. Though naturally short, it is now grown to good length and the fleece is dense. The Merino sheep is a native of Spain, and Spain was for a long period the chief country of its production. It was also in past centuries extensively bred in England and English wool owes much to the Merino for the improvement it has effected in the fleeces of other breeds of English sheep. It was also introduced into Saxony and was highly bred there, and Saxony soon came to surpass Spanish wool in fineness, softness, and felting properties. The Merino was introduced into the United States at the beginning of the nineteenth century. By 1810, 5,000 Merino sheep had been imported and these 5,000 sheep formed the basis of most of the fine wool-producing flocks of our country to-day.

The terms half blood, three-eighths blood, and quarter blood refer to the full-blooded Merino standard. As the scale descends the wool becomes coarser, the wool of a quarter blood usually being a comparatively coarse fiber. The general classifications of fine, medium, coarse, and low, refer to the relative fineness of Merino combing wools. These distinctions naturally overlap according to the opinion of the parties in transactions. Picklock XXX and XX represent the highest grades of clothing wool, the grade next lower being X, and then Nos. 1 and 2. These again are used in connection with the locality from which the wool is grown, as Ohio XX, Michigan X, New York No. 1, etc.

Difference Between Lamb's and Sheep's Wool. One of the first points to be understood in wool sorting is the difference between the wool of lambs and one-year-old sheep, and that of sheep two or more years old. Lamb's wool is naturally pointed at the end, because it has never been clipped. It is termed hog or hoggett wool, and is more valuable when longer, of about fourteen months' growth. It is finer in quality and possesses more waviness, which is a help in the process of spinning.

The wool of sheep two or more years old is known as wether. The ends of the fiber from such sheep are thick and blunted, on account of having been previously cut. It is necessary to be able to tell at once a hog fleece from a wether, and this can be done in two ways: by examining the ends of the fiber to see if they are pointed; or by pulling a staple out of the fleece. If it is wether, the staple will come out clean, without interfering to any extent with those around it; but if hog, some of the fibers will adhere to the one that is being pulled. Hog wool is generally more full of dirt, moss, straw, and other vegetable matter.

Dead Wool is wool obtained from the pelts of sheep that have died.

Pulled Wool. Pulled wool is wool from the pelts[10] as they come from the slaughter-houses of large packing plants. These pelts are thrown into vats of water and left to soak for twenty-four hours to loosen the dirt which has become matted into the wool. From these vats the pelts are taken to scrubbing machines from which the wool issues perfectly clean and white. The pelts are next freed from any particles of flesh or fat which may have adhered to them, and are then taken to the "painting" room. Here they are laid flesh side up and carefully painted with a preparation for loosening the roots of the wool. This preparation is allowed to remain on the pelts for twenty-four hours, when it is cleaned off and the pelts taken to the "pulling" room. Each wool puller stands before a small wooden framework over which the pelt is thrown, and the wool, being all thoroughly loosened by the "paint" preparation, is easily and quickly pulled out by the handful. As it is pulled it is thrown into barrels conveniently arranged according to grade and length.

When a barrel is filled, it is transferred to a large room across which are several rows of wire netting, raised about three feet from the floor. Each sheet of netting is about six feet wide. Here the wool is piled on the netting to a depth of several inches and hot air is forced underneath it by means of a blower. Meanwhile it is worked over by men with rakes, and soon dries. When thoroughly dry, it is raked up and taken to the storeroom, where it is dumped into bins. Here it usually remains open for inspection and sampling till it is sold, when it is bagged. The bags of wool ultimately find their way to the woolen mill or sampling house. Sometimes the fleece will retain its fleece form, but usually it breaks up. The wool contains lime and has to be specially treated by a scouring process to prevent lime from absorbing the cleansing substances used for scouring the wool.

Delaine Wool is a variety of fine, long combing wool.

Cotty Wool, or cotts, is wool from sheep that have been exposed to severe weather and lack of nourishment, and for these reasons have failed to throw off the yolk necessary to feed the wool. As a result it becomes matted or felted together, and is hard and brittle and almost worthless.

Wool Sorter. The sorter begins by placing the fleece upon his board or table, always arranging it so that he faces the north, as this gives the most constant light and no glare of the sun. The fleece thus spread out shows a definite dividing line through the center. The sorter parts the two halves and proceeds to analyze their different qualities. The number of sorts is determined by the requirements of the manufacturer who, in purchasing his wool, buys those grades that will produce the greatest bulk of the qualities for present use, and that leave in stock the smallest number of sorts and least weight for which he has no immediate use. The sorter then removes all extraneous matter adhering to the fleece, such as straw, twigs, and seeds, and cuts off the hard lumps of earth, tar, or paint, which, if not removed at this time, will dissolve in the scouring process and stain the wool. With these preliminaries finished, he proceeds to cast out the locks, according to quality, into baskets or skeps provided for that purpose. After skirting or taking off the outside edges of the fleece, usually known as brokes, and the legs and tail, known as breech, he separates the other portions from the better qualities.

Picklock, prime, choice, super, head, downrights, seconds, breech, etc., are some of the terms used. Picklock comprises the choicest qualities; prime is similar to picklock, but slightly inferior; choice is true staple, but not as fine in fiber; super is similar to choice, but as a rule not as valuable; head includes the inferior sorts from this part of the sheep; downrights come from the lower parts of the sides; seconds consist of the best wool clipped from the throat and breast; breech, the short, coarse fibers obtained from the skirting and edgings of the fleece.

In the worsted trade different names are used. The terms generally adopted are: blue, from the neck; fine, from the shoulders; neat, from the middle of the sides and back; brown-drawings, from the haunches; breech, from the tail and hind legs; cowtail, when the breech is very strong; brokes, from the lower part of the front legs and belly, which are classed as super, middle, and common.

Fine, short wools are sorted according to the number of counts of yarn they are expected to spin, as 48's, 60's, 70's, and so on. Thus we see there are different methods of indicating qualities in different districts, and also of indicating differences of qualities between the woolen and worsted branches of the trade.

It may be noted that the quality of the wool varies in the same way as the quality of the flesh. The shoulder is finest in grain and most delicate, so the wool is finer in fiber. There is more wear and tear for the sheep at its haunches than at its shoulders, hence the wool is longer and stronger; about the neck the wool is short, to prevent the sheep from being weighted down while eating, etc.; the wool on the back becomes rough and thin, being most exposed to the rain. From the foregoing it will be readily seen that there is necessity for careful sorting, in order to insure obtaining an even running yarn, and subsequently a uniform quality of fabrics.

Wool Washing. Fleece wool as it comes into the market is either in the "grease," that is, unwashed and with all the dirt which gathers on the surface of the greasy wool; or it is received as washed wool, the washing being done as a preliminary step to the sheep shearing. Wool, unlike cotton, cannot be worked into yarn without being thoroughly cleansed of its impurities. These impurities consist of greasy and sweaty secretions, of the nature of a lubricant to the fiber. Combined with dirt, sand, etc., which adhere to the wool, these secretions form an encrusting compound, known as yolk, which acts as a natural preservative to the wool, keeping it soft and supple. This compound, with other extraneous matter, must be removed before the wool is in a workable condition. The amount of yolk varies, the greatest amount being found in fine, short wools from the warm climates. In long-staple wool the amount of yolk is comparatively small.

Various methods of removing these impurities have been tried; one is the use of absorbent substances, such as fossil meal, alumina, etc., to withdraw the greasy matter, so that the remaining impurities can be easily removed by washing. In other methods, naphtha or similar solvent liquids are used to dissolve the wool fats. This is followed by washing in tepid water to dissolve the potash salts, leaving the dirt to fall away when the other substances are no longer present. To work this method with safety requires a costly and intricate plant with skilled supervision. The method which is practically in universal use is washing the wool in alkaline solutions, properties of which combine with and reduce the impurities to a lathery emulsion which is easily washed off from the wool.

Great stress is laid upon the necessity of care in the washing process, as the luster may be destroyed and a brownish-yellow tint given to the wool, the spinning properties very seriously injured, the softness destroyed, or the fiber dissolved. Some wools are easy to wash, requiring little soap and a reasonable temperature; other wools are cleansed with great difficulty. A note, therefore, should be made of any particular brand or class of wool requiring special attention, to serve as a guide in the treatment of future lots. The danger lies in using unsuitable agents,—hard water, excessive temperatures, strong reagents, etc.

Caustic alkalies have a most destructive effect on wool as they eat into it and destroy its vitality. Carbonate alkalies are less severe. Whatever cleansing substances are used, it is essential that they should be free from anything that is likely to injure the wool—that they remove the impurities and still preserve all the qualities in the wool. If the washing is properly performed the alkaline portion of the yolk is removed, leaving only the colorless animal oil in the fiber. If the work is not thoroughly done the wool passes as "unmerchantable washed." "Tub washed" is the term applied to fleeces which are broken up and washed more or less by hand. Scoured wool is tub washed with warm water and soap, and then thoroughly rinsed in cold water until nothing remains but the clean fiber.

An improved method of washing wool by hand is to have a series of tanks with pressing rollers attached to each tank: the wool is agitated by means of forks, and then passed to the pressing rollers and into each tank in succession. The tanks are usually five in number, and so arranged that the liquor can be run from the upper to the lower tank. Upon leaving the pressing rollers the excess of water is driven off in a hydro extractor[11] and the wool is beaten into a light, fluffy condition by means of a wooden fan or beater.

Wool Drying. The process of drying wool is not intended to be carried to such an extent that the wool will be in an absolutely dry state, for in such a condition it would be lusterless, brittle, and discolored. It is the nature of wool to retain a certain amount of moisture since it is hygroscopic, and to remove it entirely would result in partial disintegration of the fibers. Buyers and sellers have a recognized standard of moisture, 16 per cent. If, on the other hand, it is left too wet, the fibers will not stand the pulling strain in the succeeding operations, and if not broken, they are so unduly stretched that they have lost their elasticity.

The theory which underlies the drying process is that dry air is capable of absorbing moisture, hence by circulating currents of dry air in and around wet wool, the absorbing power of the air draws off the moisture. For continuous drying free circulation is a necessity, as otherwise the air would soon become saturated and incapable of taking up more moisture. Warming the air increases its capacity to absorb moisture; thus a higher temperature is capable of drying the wool much quicker than the same volume of air would at a low temperature. A free circulation of air at 75 to 100 degrees F., evenly distributed, and with ample provision for the escape of the saturated air, is essential for good work.

Oiling. After being scoured wool generally has to be oiled before it is ready for the processes of spinning, blending, etc. As delivered from the drying apparatus, the wool is bright and clean, but somewhat harsh and wiry to the touch, owing to the removal of the yolk which is its natural lubricant. To render it soft and elastic, and to improve its spinning qualities, the fiber is sprinkled with lard oil or olive oil. As the oil is a costly item, it is of consequence that it be equally distributed and used economically. To attain this end various forms of oiling apparatus have been invented, which sprinkle the oil in a fine spray over the wool, which is carried under the sprinkler by an endless cloth.

Burring and Carbonizing. After wool has been washed and scoured it frequently happens that it cannot be advanced to the succeeding operations of manufacture because it is mixed with burs, seeds, leaves, slivers, etc., which are picked up by the sheep in the pasture. These vegetable impurities injure the spinning qualities of the stock, for if a bur or other foreign substance becomes fastened in the strand of yarn while it is being spun, it either causes the thread to break or renders it bunchy and uneven. For removing burs, etc., from the wool two methods are pursued: the one purely mechanical, the other chemical, and known respectively as burring and carbonizing.

Bur Picker. For the mechanical removing of burs a machine called the bur picker is employed. In this machine the wool is first spread out into a thin lap or sheet; then light wooden blades, rotating rapidly, beat upon every part of the sheet and break the burs into pieces. The pieces fall down into the dust box or upon a grating beneath the machine, and are ejected together with a good deal of the wool adhering to them. Often the machine fails to beat out fine pieces and these are scattered through the stock.

Process of Carbonizing. For the complete removal of all foreign vegetable substances from wool the most effective process is carbonizing, in which the burs, etc., are burned out by means of acid and a high degree of heat. The method of procedure is as follows: The wool to be treated is immersed in a solution of sulphuric or hydrochloric acid for about twelve hours, the acid bath being placed in cement cisterns or in large lead-lined tubs and not made strong enough to injure the fiber of the wool. During the immersion the stock is frequently stirred. Next, the wool is dried and then placed in an enclosed chamber and subjected to a high temperature (75 degrees C.). The result of this process is that all the vegetable matter contained in the wool is "carbonized" or burned to a crisp, and on being slightly beaten or shaken readily turns to dust. This dust is removed from the wool by various simple processes. The carbonizing process was first introduced in 1875, though it made but slight headway against the old burring method until after 1880.

Blending. Pure wool of but one quality is not often used in the production of woven fabrics, so, before the raw material is ready for spinning into yarn, or for other processes by which it is worked into useful forms, it is blended. Wools are blended for many reasons (among which cheapness figures prominently), the added materials consisting usually of shoddy, mungo, or extract fibers. Ordinarily, however, blending has for its object the securing of a desired quality or weight of cloth. The question of color, as well as quality, also determines blending operations, natural colored wools being frequently intermixed to obtain particular shades for dress goods, tweeds, knitting yarns, etc. Stock dyed wools are also blended for the production of mixed colors, as browns, grays, Oxfords, etc. There is practically no limit to the variety of shades and tints obtainable by mixing two or more colors of wool together. The various quantities of wool to be blended are spread out in due proportion in the form of thin layers, one on top of the other, and then passed through a machine called the teaser. The teaser consists of a combination of large and small rollers, thickly studded with small pins, which open the wool, pull it apart, and thoroughly intermix it. A blast of air constantly plays upon the wool in the teaser and aids the spikes and pins in opening out the fibers. The material is subjected to this operation several times and is finally delivered in a soft, fleecy condition, ready to be spun into yarn.


[10] Skins.

[11] A wire cage enclosed in a metallic shell which revolves at a high speed causing sixty or seventy per cent of the moisture to be removed.



Remanufactured wool substitutes are extensively used in the manufacture of woolen and worsted goods. There is no need for the prejudice that is sometimes met regarding these reclaimed materials, for by their use millions of people are warmly and cheaply clothed. If the immense quantity of these materials were wasted, countless persons would be unable to afford proper clothing, as it is difficult to estimate what the price of wool would be; and it is also doubtful if a sufficient quantity could be produced to supply the need. In almost all instances the use of wool substitutes is for the special purpose of producing cloths at a much lower price.

The cloths made from waste products, such as noils, are not much inferior in quality to those produced from the wool from which the noils are obtained; but the great majority of cloths made from other waste products are much inferior. The following are the most important substitutes: noils, shoddy, mungo, extract-wool, and flocks.

Noils are the rejected fibers from the process of combing the different wools and hairs; thus, wool noils are from the sheep, mohair noils from the Angora goat, and alpaca noils from the Peruvian sheep.

Noils are divided into classes, namely, long-wool noils, short or fine-wool noils, mohair noils, and alpaca noils. They are all obtained in the process of combing, that is, the process which separates the long from the short fibers; the former are known as the "top," and are used in worsted and in the production of mohair and alpaca yarns; while the latter are used to advantage in the production of many different kinds of woolen fabrics. With the exception of length, noils are practically of the same quality as the tops from which they are taken.

Long-wool noils are from the combings of such wools as Leicester and similar wools. These noils, like the wool from which they are obtained, are much coarser in quality and fiber than the short-wool noils. Occasionally, when strength is required in the fabric, these noils are used, and they are also mixed with short-wool noils. Many of the cheviot fabrics are made exclusively of these noils. They are also mixed with shoddy and cotton in the production of dark-colored fabrics, and in medium and low-priced goods requiring a fibrous appearance they are extremely useful.

Short or fine-wool noils are the most valuable, and are obtained from combing Australian and other fine wools. The number and variety of uses to which they are put are innumerable. They are used to advantage in the plain and fancy woolen trade, in the manufacture of shawls and plain woolens of a soft nature, and are also suitable for mixing with cotton in the production of twist threads.

Mohair and alpaca noils are obtained by the combing of these materials. They are lacking in felting properties, but are lustrous and possess strength, and are most valuable in the manufacture of fabrics where strength and luster are required. These noils are used in the production of yarns for Kidderminster carpets, as yarns for these carpets must possess strength, brightness, and thickness of fiber. They are also used in combination with shoddy and cotton to produce weft or filling yarns for a lower quality of goods.

Shoddy and Mungo are in reality wool products, or wool fiber which has previously passed through the processes of manufacture whereby its physical structure has been considerably mutilated. These were first produced about sixty years ago. Shoddy is higher in value than mungo. The value and quality of the waste or rags from which it is made determine the quality or value of the material. Shoddy is derived from waste or rags of pure unmilled woolens, such as flannels, wraps, stockings, and all kinds of soft goods.

Mungo is made from rags of hard or milled character and is much shorter in fiber than shoddy. Its length, varying from one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch, can be regulated by the treatment the rags receive, and by the proper setting of the rollers in the grinding machine. Both shoddy and mungo may be divided into classes. Mungo is divided into two classes, namely, new and old mungo. New mungo is made from rags chiefly composed of tailor's clippings, unused pattern-room clippings, etc. Old mungo is made from cast-off garments, etc. By a careful selection of the rags previous to grinding, it is possible to make a large number of qualities, and a great variety of colors and shades without dyeing. Owing to their cheapness shoddy and mungo are used in cloths of low and medium qualities. Shoddies are utilized in fabrics of the cheviot class and in the production of backing yarns. Mungoes of the best quality are used in the low fancy tweed trade, in both warp and weft, but chiefly in union and backed fabrics.

Method of Producing Shoddy and Mungo. Before the fibrous mungo is obtained, the rags have to pass through the following necessary preliminary operations:

A. Dusting. This is carried on in a shaking machine, which consists of a cylinder possessing long and strong spikes, which are enclosed, having underneath a grating to allow the dust to pass through. The dust is then driven by a fan into a receptacle provided for that purpose.

B. Sorting. All rags, both old and new, must be sorted, and considerable care must be exercised in this operation, as on this work alone depends the obtaining of different qualities and shades, as well as the securing of the production of a regular and uniform product.

C. Seaming. This is only necessary with the rags procured from garments. It is simply removing the cotton threads from the seams, and any metallic or hard substances from the rags.

D. Oiling. The rags are oiled to soften them and make them more pliable, and thus to facilitate the grinding.

E. Grinding. This is the principal operation, and the rags are made fibrous in this process. The machine by which this is effected is made up of the following parts: feed apron, fluted rollers, swift, and a funnel for conveying the material out of the machine. The principal features of the machine are the swift and its speed. The swift is enclosed in a framework, and is about forty-two inches in diameter and eighteen inches wide, thus possessing a surface area of 2,376 square inches, containing from 12,000 to 14,000 fine strong iron spikes. The speed of the swift may be from 600 to 800 revolutions per minute. The rags are fed by placing them on the traveling feed apron, and are thus conveyed to the fluted rollers. As they emerge from the rollers they are presented to the swift, and by strong iron teeth, moving with exceedingly high surface velocity, they are torn thread from thread and fiber from fiber. The fluted rollers run very slowly, and the rags are held while the swift carries out this operation. By means of the strong current of air created by the high speed of the swift, the mungo is expelled from the machine through the funnel into a specially arranged receptacle. If by any chance the machine should be overcharged, that is, if too many rags are passing through the rollers, the top fluted roller is raised up, and the rags are simply carried, or thrown by the swift, over into a box on the opposite side of the machine without being subjected to the tearing process. The top roller is weighted by levers with weights attached to keep it in position, thus bringing downward pressure to bear upon it, as it is driven simply by friction. By the adjustment of the feed rollers in relation to the swift, the length of the fiber may be varied to a small degree.

Extract Wool. This is obtained from union cloths, that is, from cloths having a wool weft and warp of cotton, etc., also from cloths having the same material for warp, but possessing a woolen or mungo warp or filling, etc. It is the wool fiber that is required. Therefore the vegetable matter (cotton) must be extracted from it by the process of carbonizing. To effect this, the tissue or rags are steeped in a solution of sulphuric acid and water and then subjected to heat in an enclosed room. The water is evaporated, leaving the acid in a concentrated form, which acts upon the cotton, converting it into powder. The powder readily becomes separated, and thus the cotton is eliminated. The material that is left is well washed to remove all acid, dried, and then passed through a miniature carder, to impart to it the appearance of a woolly and a softer fabric.

Flocks. These are of three kinds, and are waste products of the milling, cropping, and raising operations. The most valuable are those derived from the fulling mill, being clean and of a bright color. They are chiefly used by sail spinners, and in the manufacture of low grade cloths of a cheviot class. White flocks are suitable for blending with wool, and as a rule command a fair price. Raising flocks are those obtained from the dressing or raising gigs, and are applied to purposes similar to those for which fulling flocks are used. Cutting or cropping flocks are the short fibers which are removed from the cloths in this operation. They are practically of no value to the textile manufacturer, being unfit for yarn production, but are used chiefly by wall-paper manufacturers in producing "flock-papers," which are papers with raised figures resembling cloth, made of poor wool, and attached with a gluey varnish.



Carding. After the wool is washed it undergoes a number of operations before it is finished into worsted or woolen yarn.[12] The first step in the manufacturing of worsted yarn is to pass the washed wool through a worsted card which consists of a number of cylinders covered with fine wire teeth mounted on a frame. The effect of these cylinders on the wool is to disengage the wool fibers, make them straight, and form a "sliver" or strand. It is now ready for the combing machine.

Combing. The process of combing consists of subjecting the card sliver to the operations of the automatic wool comber, which straightens the fibers and removes all short and tufted pieces of wool. Combing is a guarantee that every fiber of the wool lies perfectly straight, and that all fibers follow one after the other in regular order.

Comb. A comb is a complicated machine. The principal feature is a large metal ring with rows of fine steel pins (pin circles), which is made to revolve horizontally within the machine. By various devices the wool is fed into the teeth of the ring in the form of tufts. The fibers of the tufts by an intricate process are separated into long and short lengths, and a set of rollers draws each out separately and winds it into a continuous strand called "tops." On leaving the comber, the wool is free from short fibers, specks, and foreign substances, and presents a fine, flowing, and lustrous appearance. The short combed-out wool is called noils, and is used in making carpet yarns, ground up into shoddy stock, or utilized in spinning fancy yarns.

Worsted Tops. American textile manufacturers are finding it advantageous to have their combing done by those who make the work a specialty rather than to do it themselves. In the manufacture of tops all varieties of combing wools are used: Australian, Merino, and Crossbred wools, South American Merino and Crossbred wools, Cape Merino wools, Merino and Crossbred wools grown in the United States, the lustrous wools of pure English blood, Mohair from Asiatic Turkey, and Alpaca from the Andes. Tops are sold to worsted spinneries.[13] Many mills or worsted spinneries send their wools, either sorted or unsorted as they may desire, to a combing mill, where the wool is put into top at a lower price than that at which most spinneries can do their own combing. By means of the naphtha process a larger amount of top from a given amount of wool can be secured than by any other process, and in addition, a top in better condition for drawing and spinning.

In a strand of combed wool, called top, no single fiber lies across the strand; all lie in the direction of the length. This order is preserved until the fibers have been converted into yarn, which is accomplished by passing through "gill boxes." These gill boxes are machines with bars of iron having upon their surface two rows of minute steel pins, by this means kept perfectly straight. The bars on which they are placed are worked on screws between two sets of rollers. The wool enters between the first set of rollers, and, as it passes through, is caught by one of these gills that is raised up for the purpose, being succeeded by others as the rollers revolve. These gills are moved forward on screws in the direction of the other set of rollers, and the pins in the gills always keep the fiber perfectly straight. The second set of rollers is termed the draught rollers, since by them the wool, after passing through the front rollers, is drawn out and reduced in thickness. This is accomplished because the second rollers revolve at a higher rate of speed than the first rollers, the speed being regulated according to the length of the wool, and the thickness of the yarn to be produced. These gills are used in the production of worsted yarn until the size of the rope of wool has been so reduced and twisted that there is no chance of any fiber getting crossed or out of the order of straightness. A worsted yarn is, consequently, a straight yarn, or a yarn produced from perfectly straight fibers.

The combing of wool may be dispensed with in some cases, although such a yarn is not in common use. When combing is dispensed with, the gills, in connection with the draught of the rollers, make the fibers straight, and produce a worsted yarn, although such a yarn has a tendency to be uneven and knotty.

Before the wool can be spun it must be made into roving of a suitable thickness. This is done by passing it, after being combed, through a series of operations termed drawing, whose functions are to produce a gradual reduction in thickness at each stage. Although the number of machines varies according to the kind of wool to be treated, still the same principle applies to all.

Spinning. The process of spinning is the last in the formation of yarn or thread, the subsequent operations having for their object the strengthening of the yarn by combining two or more strands and afterward arranging them for weaving or for the purpose for which the yarn is required. It is also the last time that the fibers are mechanically drawn over each other or drafted, and this is invariably done from a single roving. The humidity and temperature of the spinning room must be adjusted to conditions. Each spinner is provided with a wet and dry thermometer so that the best temperature can be ascertained. The most suitable heat and humidity can only be obtained by comparison and observation. A dry and warm atmosphere causes the wool to become charged with electricity and then the fibers repel each other.

Worsted yarn is spun by two different methods known respectively as the Bradford or English system and the French system. The difference in these systems of spinning worsteds lies principally in the drawing and spinning processes, a radically different class of machinery being used for each. The combing process is practically the same in both cases, but the wool is combed dry for the French system, and by the English method the stock is thoroughly oiled before being combed. The result of the English method is the production of a smooth level yarn in which the fibers lie nearly parallel to each other. The yarn made according to the French system is somewhat fuzzier and more woolly. On account of the absence of oil, the shrinkage of French spun worsted is considerably less than that made by the Bradford system.

Characteristics of Worsted Yarn. The unique structure of worsted yarn makes it invaluable in the production of textile fabrics in which luster and uniformity of surface are the chief characteristics. The methods by which worsted is formed render it capable of sustaining more tension in proportion to its size than the pure woolen yarn. This feature, combined with its lustrous quality, gives it a pre-eminent position in the manufacture of fine coatings, dress goods, etc. The method of arranging the fibers in the formation of a woolen yarn is such as to produce a strand with a somewhat indefinite and fibrous surface, which destroys to a large degree the clearness of the pattern effect in the woven piece. In the construction of worsted yarn the fibers are arranged in a parallel relationship to each other, resulting in the production of a smooth, hard yarn having a well-defined surface; hence weave-ornamentation of a decided or marked type is possible by its use. There is, in a word, more scope for pattern effects, since the level and regular structure of the yarn imparts a distinction to every part of a woven design. From this peculiarity arises the great variety of effects seen in the worsted dress fabrics, coatings, trouserings, etc., both in colored patterns and in fabrics of one shade throughout.

Worsted yarn can be made of pure wool; and as a rule, the wool used in the English system is of fairly good length and uniform staple, for if otherwise it is only with difficulty that the yarn can be spun straight. Shorter wool can be combed and spun under the French system, and this is the reason why the French system of spinning is being introduced. On the other hand, in the spinning of woolen yarns great length of staple is not essential, for the machinery employed will work the small fibers.

Uses of Worsted Yarn. Worsted yarn may be used in any of the following fabrics:

1. Combed wool yarn for ornamental needlework and knitting, as Berlin, Zephyr, and Saxony wools.

2. Cloth made from combed wool not classified according to material.

a. Fabrics of all wool—serge, bunting, rep, dress goods, with weave effects.

b. Wool and Cotton—union goods, serge linings, lathing.

c. Wool and Silk—rich poplin, pongee, henrietta, bombazine.

d. Alpaca and Mohair—alpaca, mohair dress goods, lusters, braids, laces.

Counts. Yarn is measured by a system of "counts"—the number of yards of yarn to the pound. The counts of worsted yarn are based on the number of hanks in one pound, each hank containing 560 yards. Thus No. 30 worsted yarn consists of 30 hanks of 560 yards each, or 16,800 yards to the pound.


[12] The distinct difference between worsted and woolen yarns is that worsted yarn is made of fibers that are parallel, while the fibers of woolen yarn run in all directions. The worsted yarn is stronger.

[13] Mills that manufacture worsted yarn.



In manufacturing worsted yarn every necessary operation is performed to arrange the wool fibers so that they will lie smoothly and parallel to each other. In the case of woolen yarn every operation is performed so as to have the fibers lie in every direction and to cross and overlap each other.

To produce yarn of the woolen type a set of machinery entirely different from that used in worsted manufacture is necessary. The wool is carded, but no attempt is made to get the fibers parallel. The reduction in thickness of the sliver is not brought about upon the so-called drawing frame, but by a mule frame where the drawing and twisting are done at the same operation. As neither combs nor gills are employed, there is not the same smooth, level yarn, but one which possesses a fringe-like covering or fuzzy appearance that makes the woolen yarn so valuable.

The operation is as follows:

Carding. After washing the material for woolen yarn, it is passed through three carding processes, and from the last of them is taken direct to the spinning frame to be made into yarn. The object of woolen carding is different from carding in any other textile manufacture.

In most processes of carding the fibers are subjected to a "combing" principle, and the aim is to lay the fibers parallel. Woolen carding aims to open the raw wool fiber, and put it in a perfectly loose condition, without leaning toward any definite arrangement.

The carding machines are called, respectively, first, second, and third breaker. Each machine consists of a complicated series of card-covered cylinders of different sizes, running at different rates of speed—sometimes in the same and sometimes in an opposite direction. These rollers take the wool from one another in regular order until it is finally delivered from the third breaker in a soft, fluffy rope or roll called a sliver. This sliver is wound on a bobbin, and taken from the card to the mule spinning frame.

The sliver on the bobbins from the card is taken to the mule spinning frame where it is passed through rolls, and the sliver attenuated by means of a traveling carriage.

Count. In the case of woolen yarn there are numerous systems for denoting the count, varying with the locality in which it is spun and the character of the product. In the United States there are two systems employed, but the one in most general use is known as "American run counts." This is based on the number of "runs," each containing 1,600 yards to the pound. Thus, a yarn running 8,000 yards to the pound is called a 5 "run" yarn, a yarn with 5,200 yards to the pound is equal to a 3-1/4 "run."

In the vicinity of Philadelphia woolen yarn is based on the "cut," each cut consisting of 300 yards, and the count is the number of cuts in a pound. Thus, No. 30 cut yarn consists of 9,000 yards to the pound. No. 15 contains 4,500 yards to the pound.

Woolen yarn is suitable for cloths in which the colorings are blended and the fibers napped, as exemplified in tweed, cheviot, doeskin, broadcloth, beaver, frieze, chinchilla, blanket, and flannel.



Preparatory to Weaving. Yarn is wound on bobbins on the ring or mule spinning frame. These bobbins are transferred to a machine called a spooler where the yarn is re-wound on a spool preparatory to making the warp.

A warp is formed by obtaining a definite number of threads (called ends), usually in a precisely designed order of given length, and allowing the ends to wind over a cylinder called a beam. In order to do this it is necessary to have spools placed in a definite position in a frame called a creel.

Before the warp can be placed in the loom so as to weave or interlace it with filling it must be sized. This is necessary for all single twist warp yarns. Its primary object is to increase the strength and smoothness of the thread, thus enabling it to withstand the strain and friction due to the weaving operation. Other objects of sizing are the increase of weight and bulk of the thread and the improvement and feel of the cloth. The warp is usually sized by passing it over a roller and through a bath of a starch mixture. The machine for sizing is called a slasher. The warp is now ready to have the ends drawn in and placed in the loom.

Weaving. Every woven piece of cloth is made up of two distinct systems of threads, known as the warp and filling (weft), which are interlaced with each other to form a fabric. The warp threads run lengthways of the piece of cloth, and the filling runs across from side to side. The manner in which the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is known as the weave. When the word "end" is used in connection with weaving it always signifies the warp thread, while each filling thread is called a pick. The fineness of the cloth is always expressed as so many picks and ends to the inch. The fabrics produced by weaving are named by the manufacturers or merchants who introduce them. Old fabrics are constantly appearing under new names, usually with some slight modification to suit the public taste.

Weaving Processes. In order to understand the different kinds of weaves it is necessary to know, or at least to understand, the process of forming cloth, called weaving. This is done in a machine called a loom. The principal parts of a loom are the frame, the warp-beam, the cloth-roll, the heddles, and their mounting, the reed. The warp-beam is a wooden cylinder back of the loom on which the warp is wound. The threads of the warp extend in parallel order from the warp-beam to the front of the loom, and are attached to the cloth-roll. Each thread or group of threads of the warp passes through an opening (eye) of a heddle. The warp threads are separated by the heddles into two or more groups, each controlled and automatically drawn up and down by the motion of the heddles. In the case of small patterns the movement of the heddles is controlled by "cams" which move up the heddles by means of a frame called a harness; in larger patterns the heddles are controlled by harness cords attached to a Jacquard machine. Every time the harness (the heddles) moves up or down, an opening (shed) is made between the threads of warp, through which the shuttle is thrown.

The filling thread is wound on a bobbin which is fastened in the shuttle and which permits the yarn to unwind as it passes to and fro. As fast as each filling thread is interlaced with warp it is pressed close to the previous one by means of a reed which advances toward and recedes from the cloth after each passage of the shuttle. This is done to make the cloth firm. There are various movements on the loom for controlling the tension of the warp, for drawing forward or taking up the cloth as it is produced, and for stopping the loom in the case of breakage of the warp thread or the running out of the filling thread.

Weaving may be performed by hand in hand-looms or by steam-power in power-looms, but the arrangements for both are to a certain extent the same. A great number of different kinds of power-looms are manufactured for producing the various classes of textiles in use at the present time. These looms are distinguished by the name of the material which they are designed to weave, as the ribbon-loom, blanket-loom, burlaps- and sacking-loom, plush-loom, double-cloth loom, rug-loom, fancy cotton-loom, silk-loom, worsted-loom, etc.

Weaving is distinct from knitting, netting, looping, and braiding, which are operations depending on the interlacing of a single thread, or single set of threads, while weaving is done with two distinct and separate sets of threads.

Classes of Weave. The character of the weave offers the best basis for classification of woven goods. Nearly all the varieties of cloth may be classified from the following weaves:

(1) Plain-weaving, (2) Twill-weaving, (3) Satin-weaving, (4) Figure-weaving, (5) Double-cloth-weaving, (6) Pile-weaving, (7) Gauze-weaving, (8) Lappet-weaving.

Plain or Homespun Weave. Plain cloth is the simplest cloth that can be woven. In this weave one series of threads (filling) crosses another series (warp) at right angles, passing over one and under one in regular order, thus forming a simple interlacement of the threads. This combination makes a strong and firm cloth, but does not give a close or a heavy fabric, as the threads do not lie as close and compact as they do in other weaves. In plain cloth, if not fulled or shrunk in the finish, the result is a fabric perforated with large or small openings according to the size or twist of yarn used. If heavy or coarse threads are used the perforations will be large; if finer threads, the perforations will be smaller.

This weave is used in the production of sheeting, muslin, lawn, gingham, broadcloth, taffeta, etc. In plain weaving it is possible to produce stripes by the use of bands of colored warp, and checks where both warp and weft are parti-colored. This weave is commonly used when the cloth is intended to be ornamented with printed patterns. In weaving cloth of only one color but one shuttle is used, while for the production of checks, plaids, etc., two or more shuttles are required.

Twill Weave. A twill weave has diagonal lines across the cloth. In this class of weaves the filling yarn or threads pass over 1 and under 2, or over 1 and under 3, 4, 5, or 6, or over 2 or 3 and under 1, 2, 3, or 4, or over 4 and under 4, 3, 6, etc. Each filling thread does not pass under and over the same set of warp threads, as this would not give the desired interlacings. Instead the order of interlacing moves one thread to the right or left with each filling thread that is woven. If there are the same number of threads to an inch in warp and filling, twill lines will form an angle of 45 degrees; if the warps are closer together than the filling, the angle will be steeper; if the filling threads are closer together the lines will approach more nearly the horizontal. Different effects are obtained in patterns by variation in the sizes of the yarn and twist, by the use of heavy threads to form cords, ribs, etc., and by the mixture of vari-colored materials in the yarn. Often one form of twill-weave is combined with another to produce a fancy twill-weave. The object of the twill-weaving is to increase the bulk and strength of a fabric, or to ornament it. The disposition of the threads permits the introduction of more material into the cloth, and hence renders it heavier, and of closer construction than in the case of plain-weaving.

Satin Weaves. The object of a satin weave is to distribute the interlacings of the warp and filling in such a manner that no trace of the diagonal (twill) line will be seen on the face of the cloth. In weaving a satin design the filling thread is made to pass under 1 and over 4, 7, 9, 11, or more if a larger plush satin is required. The raising of the warp end to allow the filling to pass under is done in such a way as to prevent twill lines from showing in the cloth. The result is that practically all of the filling is on the face of the cloth. This is called a filling-face satin weave. A warp-face satin weave may be produced by reversing the order; in this case practically all of the warp is brought to the face of the cloth. In this way a worsted warp and a cotton filling might be woven so that practically all of the warp would show on the cloth, and give it the appearance of a worsted fabric. A number of classes of silk goods are made in this way, with a silk filling covering a cotton warp.

This weave produces an even, close, smooth surface, capable of reflecting the light to the best advantage, and having a lustrous appearance which makes it resemble satin cloth. Satin cloth is made of silk using a satin weave.

Satin weaves are used very largely in producing different styles of cotton and silk fabrics, and are also frequently found in woolen goods. They are more extensively used in the manufacture of damask and table-covers than for any other class of goods. Satin stripes are frequent in madras, shirtings, and fancy dress goods in connection with plain and figured weaves.

Figure Weaving. To produce complicated and irregular patterns in the loom a large number of different openings (sheds) must be made in the warp, and to secure such a large number an attachment is placed on top of the loom called a Jacquard apparatus. The Jacquard is merely an apparatus for automatically selecting warp threads, by which each separate one can be made to move independently of any of the others. It is provided with weighted strings attached to each of the warp threads. The weighted strings are controlled by wire needles which are in turn controlled by perforated cards. Each motion of the loom changes their position and allows some needles to go through the holes in the cards, thus drawing up the warp, while others strike the card and leave the warp down. In this way the perforations of the cards determine the figure of the patterns. The Jacquard is chiefly used to produce patterns of great width in which all or most of the threads in the pattern move independently. For the weaving of elaborate effects and flowing lines it is practically indispensable. All elaborate designs are classed under the name of Jacquards.

Double Cloth. Double cloth is a descriptive term applied in weaving to fabrics produced by combining two single cloths into one. Each one of these single cloths is constructed with its own systems of warp and filling, the combination being effected in the loom by interlacing some of the warp or filling threads of one cloth into the other cloth at certain intervals, thus fastening them securely together. The reasons for making double-cloths are many. Sometimes it is done to reduce the cost of heavy weight fabrics by using cheaper materials for the cloth forming the back; again it may be to produce double-face fabric; it allows great freedom for the formation of colored patterns which may or may not correspond in pattern on both sides; it is the basis of tubular weaving such as is practised for making pillow cases, pockets, seamless grain bags, etc.; more frequently, the object is to increase the bulk or strength of certain kinds of fabrics, such as heavy overcoatings, cloakings, pile-fabrics, golf-cloth, rich silk, etc.

Pile Weave. A pile weave is a general term under which are classed numerous varieties of cloth woven with a pile surface, as plush, velvet, velveteen, and carpeting of various kinds. Turkish towels are an excellent illustration of pile weaving. A pile surface is a closely set, elastic face covering various kinds of woolen, silk, and cotton fabrics, and consists of threads standing close together, either in the form of loops or as erect thread-ends sheared off smooth so as to form a uniform and even surface. In the production of a pile fabric a third thread is introduced into the weaving and formed into loops usually by carrying it over the wires laid across the breadth of the cloth. The wires are afterward drawn out, leaving the loops standing; the loops may then be cut so as to form a cut pile, as in velvet and plush, or they may be left in their original form as in Brussels carpet and Turkish towels.

Gauze Weaving. In gauze weaving all the warp threads are not parallel to each other, but are made to intertwist more or less among themselves, thereby favoring the production of light, open fabrics, in which many ornamental lace-like combinations can be obtained. Two sets of warp threads are used, one being the ground warp and the other the "douping," the latter performing the entwining process. Gauze is especially characterized by its openness and yields the lightest and strongest fabric with the least material. When gauze is combined with plain weaving it is styled "leno." Gauze fabrics are designed for women's summer gowns, flounces, window-curtains, etc.

Lappet Weaving. Lappet weaving, really a form of embroidery, is used for producing small designs on cloth by means of needles placed in a sliding-frame, the figures being stitched into the warp. Elaborate figures are beyond the range of lappet weaving, but there are many small effects that can be economically produced in this manner, such as the detached spots in dotted swiss, and narrow and continuous figures running more or less into stripes. This form of weaving imitates embroidery and is used mainly on plain and gauze fabrics.



Dyeing. When a fabric or fiber is impregnated with a uniform color over its whole surface, it is said to be "simply dyed." On the other hand, if distinct patterns or designs in one or more colors have been impressed upon a fabric, it is called printing.

Vegetable dyes were formerly used, but since the coal tar dyes have been discovered the latter are used entirely. Over fourteen thousand colors have been produced from coal tar. Different fibers and fabrics attract dyestuffs with varying degrees of force. Wool and silk attract better than cotton and linen.

Wool Dyeing. The methods of dyeing wool differ considerably from those employed for cotton and other vegetable fibers. They may be divided into three parts: piece dyed, cross dyed, and yarn dyed.

Piece goods are those woven with yarns in their gray or natural state, and then cleansed and dyed in the piece to such colors as are required. They are woven in plain weaves and in a great variety of twills—in fact, in all styles of weaves—and are also made on the Jacquard loom. The principal fabrics in this classification are all wool serges, cheviots, hopsackings, suitings, satines, prunellas, whipcords, melroses, Venetian broadcloths, zibelines, rainproof cloths; nun's veiling, canvases, grenadines, albatrosses, crepes, and French flannels; silk warp Henriettas, voiles, and sublimes. Whenever it is possible, it is better to dye textile fabrics in the form of woven pieces than in the yarn. During the process of weaving it is impossible to avoid getting yarn dirty and somewhat greasy, and the scouring necessary to remove this dirt impairs the color used in weaving. Piece dyeing is the cheapest method of applying color to textiles. The chief fault of piece dyeing is the danger of cloud spots, stains, etc., which do not appear in the other two methods. Then again in the case of thick, closely woven goods the dyestuff does not penetrate into the fabric, and the interior remains nearly white.

The cloth is dyed by means of passing over a roller into a dye vat. Small pieces or "swatches" are taken from the ends of the fabric, and compared with the pattern. For it must be remembered that no two lots of crude dyes are of equal strength, and the wools and cottons of different growths and seasons vary greatly, so that the use of a fixed quantity of dye to a given amount of goods will not always give the exact shade. In comparing a sample with the pattern the two are placed side by side below the eyes (reflected light), and then held up to the light and the eye directed along the surface. A judgment must be formed quickly, as a prolonged gaze fatigues the eye and renders it unable to perceive fine shades of difference.

Cross Dyed. Cross-dyed goods may be described as fabrics woven with black or colored cotton warps and wool or worsted filling and afterwards dyed in the piece. Since cotton has not the same attraction for dyestuffs as wool it is a difficult task to dye a fabric woven with cotton and wool so that both fibers will be identical in depth of color, tone, and brightness. In some cases it is possible to dye a mixed fabric at a single operation, but the usual process is to dye the wool in yarn state and then dye the warp a color as near the color of the wool as possible. In the weaving operation the wool is thrown to the surface. In another method the warp is dyed and woven with a white wool or worsted filling, and dyed in the piece with a dyestuff that will not affect the cotton. In this way the cotton does not take the wool dye, but retains its original color. This class of work is generally used in mohair, alpaca, and luster fabrics, because the natural brilliancy of the luster wool, alpaca, or mohair in the filling is not impaired as would be the case if the cotton in the goods were subjected to a cotton-dye bath after being woven. The principal cloths in this classification are cotton, warp figured melroses, Florentines, glaces, brilliantines, lusters, alpacas, and mohairs; rainproof cloths, and fancy waistings, and in these may be found the same great variety of weaves and patterns that is to be found in the piece-dyed goods already described.

Yarn Dyed. Yarn-dyed goods differ from those previously described in that they are made of yarns that are dyed before being woven, or yarns spun from dyed wool. Wool may be dyed in the raw state (fleece), slubbing, or yarn. Fleece dyeing is preferable for goods intended to stand friction, and that in spite of wear and tear must preserve their color. It is preferred for dark colored goods where much friction is to be encountered, but is seldom used for light colors, since these would be soiled during subsequent processes of manufacture. In this case every fiber is colored uniformly all over. The yarn from this wool and the cloth woven from it are dyed through and through and do not become grayish or whitish by wear and tear.

Slubbing dyeing is preferred to yarn dyeing, for the dyestuff penetrates the loosely twisted roving, and if unevenly dyed, the subsequent operations equalize most thoroughly the irregularities in color.

Yarn dyeing is especially applicable to checks, plaids, and suitings, and in their manufacture the drop box loom (a loom with two or more shuttles) is used. Goods manufactured under this classification include cotton warp checks and mixtures; all wool homespuns, mixture coatings and suitings, storm skirtings, rainproof cloths. These goods are made in a great variety of weaves, the effect in each being secured by the color and the weave.

Piece-dyed fabrics may be distinguished from yarn-dyed fabrics by unraveling threads of each kind. In the case of yarn-dyed fabrics the dyestuff has penetrated through the yarn, while in the case of piece-dyed fabrics the dyestuff has no chance to penetrate as completely as the yarn-dyed fabric.

Textile Printing. Printed fabrics such as print cloths can generally be distinguished by observing the back side of the cloth. If the figure or pattern on the face of the cloth does not penetrate through to the back but only shows the outline, the fabric has been printed. Fabrics are printed by coming into contact with rotating rollers on which the pattern is engraved.

The attraction of cotton for coloring is generally feebler than that of wool or silk. Few of the natural dyestuffs attach themselves permanently without use of a mordant. A mordant is a substance which has an affinity for, or which can penetrate, the fiber to be colored, and which possesses the power of combining with the dyestuff and thus forming an insoluble compound upon the fiber. Cotton is dyed in an unspun state, and also as yarn or spun thread, either in the hank or skein. Silk is dyed in unspun skeins, although to a considerable extent it is also dyed in the piece.

Styles. Since styles and designs are constantly changing it is necessary for the mills to meet this demand by producing new styles. Some of the patterns which are at this time considered to be in the best style would have appeared much out of date two or three years ago, while perhaps a few years hence, the patterns which are now almost obsolete will, with some changes, become the most popular sellers of the season. As the mill officials or designers are not out among the trade, they are not in a position to judge what lines or patterns would most likely appeal to the market. This information is obtained by the "styler" of the selling house. The styler receives all the latest foreign samples and fashion papers from abroad, and often goes or sends his representative to Europe to ascertain what goods, designs, and colors are taking well over there. The selling agent or styler then supplies the designing department of the mill with all the samples, information, and suggestions necessary in getting out the samples.

Construction of Cloth. In reproducing a sample of cloth in the mill it is necessary that the construction of the cloth be first known, that is, there must be ascertained the width, warp ends, and picks per inch, the number or size of the yarn used for the warp, the number that is used for the filling, and the number of ounces per yard or yards per pound. Then the interlacings of the threads in the sample must be picked out in order to get the design or weave on the design paper, from which the data are obtained for regulating the movement of the harness or heddles. Design paper is paper ruled by lines into a number of squares. An imitation of the cloth can be produced on this paper by showing the interlacings of the warp and filling. This is done by filling in certain squares with paint, or pencil marks, while the others are left empty. In practical work it is the general custom to make a cross with a pencil to indicate the squares that are to be filled in, thus showing that the warp thread is over the filling thread at this point. When a square is left blank it shows that the warp thread is under the filling at this point. When a warp thread is up on a certain pick, the harness which controls this thread must be raised on this pick.

Finishing. The fabric as it comes from the loom is in an imperfect condition for use. When worsted fabrics leave the loom they require but few and simple finishing operations, and in this respect differ much from woolen cloths, which require elaborate finishing operations. The finishing processes of woolen and worsted cloths are similar. The following description of processes and machines gives a clear idea of the necessary finishing processes for a standard woolen or worsted cloth; for particular styles of finish the processes must be varied in accordance with the particular requirements of the style of fabric in hand.

Perching. The fabric as it comes from the loom receives a perching and measuring inspection at the weave room before leaving for the finishing room. This examination is to detect quickly such imperfections as require prompt attention at the loom.

Burling. Every knot that has been tied in the threads during winding, dressing, beaming, and weaving, must be looked for and felt for during burling, carefully drawn to the surface of the cloth, and then clipped off with the scissors, leaving the ends long enough so that no space without a thread will occur. Threads which are found loose on the face or back of cloth, caused by the weaver having tied in a broken end, should be cut off and not pulled off. All places where threads are not woven in are marked so that the sewing-in girl (mender) can adjust such places. The cloth is subjected to perching again. It is examined for imperfections, and when these are found, they are marked with chalk to call the attention of the menders to such places.

Mending. The object of darning or mending is to make all repairs in the structure of the cloth before the process of fulling. The mender must have a good eye for colors necessary to produce various effects and for the interlacing of the threads. More exact work is required for threadbare fabrics that require little if any finishing afterward, than in dealing with a face finish fabric, where the nap is to be raised and will cover many imperfections so that they will never be noticed in the finished cloth.

Fulling. The object of fulling is to render woolen and worsted goods stronger and firmer in body. Fulling is similar to felting, the principal object of each being to condense the fibers, thereby increasing the firmness. Certain varieties of woolens are fulled nearly one-half their original width and length. The process of fulling includes three steps: cleansing, scouring, and condensing the fibers of the cloth. The object of scouring is to get rid of oil used preparatory to spinning, and to remove from the cloth stains and the sizing used in dressing the warp. The cloth is first saturated with hot water and soap, and is then scoured and rubbed between the slow-revolving rollers of the machine from two to eighteen hours, according to the character of goods and the amount of shrinkage desired. The more prolonged the operation, the more the material shrinks. When sufficiently fulled, the length of cloth is scoured to free it from soap. This is done with water, warmed at first, but gradually cooled, until at the end the cloth is worked in cold water. Next the cloth is stretched uniformly in all directions, so that it may dry evenly without wrinkles or curls. Sometimes the cloth is placed in a hot-air chamber to hasten the drying. The fulling or shrinking is effected by the application of moisture, heat, and pressure. Every one is familiar with the fact that woolen blankets, flannels, and hosiery tend to contract with frequent washings, gaining in thickness and solidity what they lose in elasticity. Such shrinkage is greatly hastened when they are rubbed vigorously in hot water and then allowed to cool suddenly. This change is due to the physical properties of the wool fiber.

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