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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

Textile Fibers
Historical Sketch Of The Textiles
Mechanical Devices For Preparation Of Textiles
Cotton Production
Cotton Marketing
Cotton Manufacturing
Geography Of The Cotton Trade
Prices Of Cotton Goods
Classes Of Wool
Production Of Wool
Wool Marketing
Manufacture Of Wool
Geography Of Wool Production
Mohair, Its Nature And Uses
Raw Silk Porduction
Silk Manufacturing
Silk Waste
Imitations Of Silk
Construction, Color, And Finish Of Cloth
Dyeing And Printing
Cloth Finishing
Care Of Textiles
Textile Tests

Construction, Color, And Finish Of Cloth

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The appearance of the cloth is a vital factor in the success of the textile business. The eye of the consumer must find the fabric attractive. Costly experiments are made to find out what people want. The designing of fabrics is an art that ranks with the highest, since it requires both a high grade of technical skill and that broad knowledge of markets which comes from genuine knowledge of people. Designers must be close students of style tendencies, of current fashions, and of popular taste. The one who works out designs for new fabrics must consider such matters as seasonal or climatic demands, appropriateness to use, appropriateness with reference to other materials with which the fabrics are likely to be used, the artistic standards of the people to whom the goods are to be offered, harmony and beauty in the designs, etc.

Sources of designs.-Successful designers of fabrics are not numerous. The majority of designs fail to meet popular approval. Naturally, then, successful fabric designers can command high salaries. Many of the designs made in this country imitate those already produced in Europe, France, Germany, or England. The American designer in such cases merely copies, or else makes some simple change which seems to him likely to appeal to the American.

General methods of varying the design.-There are in general three methods used to vary the appearance of cloth; namely, variations in weave, in color, and in finishing methods. These, together with some of their applications, may best be given at first in an outline.

1. Variations in weaving.

a. Introducing different weaves.

b. Using threads of different sizes in the weaves.

c. Using threads spun either to the right or to the left and using weft spun in one direction and warp spun in the other.

d. Using warp or weft spun so hard that the cloth crinkles or crepes on being released from the loom.

e. Combinations of the above.

II. Variations in coloring.

a. Loose fibers dyed before spinning.

b. Yarn dyed before weaving-dyed yarns used in weaving stripes, checks, and figures.

c. Cloth dyed in the piece after weaving.

d. Colors printed on the woven fabric.

e. Colors printed on the warp only.

f. Combinations of the above.

III. Variations due to finishing methods.

a. Degree of whiteness due to bleaching.

b. Napped surface-short or long.

c. Filled or weighted-variations in weight.

d. Loose.

e. Close.

f. Soft.

g. Stiff.

h. Elastic.

i. Dull.

j. Gloss or luster.

k. Moire.

i. Pressed.

m. Natural.

n. Crinkled effects.

o. Imitations of other textile fabrics, such as linen finish, silk finish, wool finish.

p. Special finishes, such as velvet finish, chinchilla finish, threadbare finish, worsted finish, unfinished worsted, etc.

q. Waterproofing-hard or soft finish. r. Fireproofing.

s. Antiseptic finish.

Woven Structures.-The different kinds and makes of looms produce an almost infinite variety of weaves or woven structures. We are not now interested in the mechanical details of the different kinds of looms, but rather in their products, the kinds of cloth structures. In a general way all woven structures may be classified under the following groups:

1. Plain cloths.

2. Twills.

3. Satins or sateens.

4. Pile cloths.

5. Gauze or netting.

6. Double cloths.

7. Lappet weaves.

8. Figured cloths.

These structures can be made in all classes of textiles, cotton, wool, linen, and silk.

DIRECTIONS FOR STUDYING WOVEN STRUCTURES.-In studying woven structures it is advisable for the student to provide himself with a sample from each group mentioned, and to study it carefully, under a magnifying glass if possible, to make sure that the distinguishing characteristics of each class of woven structure are fully understood. He should pull the sample to pieces, a thread at a time, and should carefully note how the threads are interlaced; how the different threads compare in size ; whether they are spun to the left or to the right, and so on. Note particularly the great change in the appearance of the cloth that results from what seems to be a very small matter in the arrangement of the threads. There is no other way in which to learn to know cloth except by studying cloth itself. All that this chapter can do is to point out what the student should look for. Those who are not regularly working in the textile trade should provide themselves with samples of all of the cloths mentioned, stitch or fasten them into a blank book, and then refer to them from time to time, reviewing the essential qualities of structure found in each. The test of good study of this subject will be the student's ability to tell what the structure or weave of a fabric really is; and he should be able to do this practically as soon as he sees and feels the cloth.

Plain weave.-In the plain cloths the warp and weft are regularly interlaced, alternating over and under throughout the cloth. For example, it will be found that every second warp thread is above the filling thread, while the alternate threads are below, and the positions of the warp threads are reversed for the next filling thread, and so on. The weft or filling threads run at right angles to the warp passing over and under each other in regular succession.

When the warp and the weft are of the same size, plain cloth presents an even, uniform appearance. If closely woven the surface will appear smooth. But smoothness also depends upon the character of the yarns. Some yarns tend to lie more closely together than others. Closeness of contact of warp and weft is secured also by using warp spun in one direction and weft spun in the opposite direction. (The student should verify this statement by taking largesize twine or rope, one piece twisted to the left and the other to the right. By laying them at right angles across each other, just as warp and weft cross each other, he will see that they tend to sink into each other better than if they are both spun in the same direction.) As a result of the way the yarns are spun and the degree of hardness with which the cloth is woven, the cloths are either close or open in texture.

By varying the size of the threads of either the warp or the weft, a corded effect is produced. By using certain large-sized yarns at regular intervals, stripes, checks, and other patterns may be made.

Some of the common cotton plain cloths are calico, percale, gingham, muslin, batiste, cambric, challis, outing flannel, and cotton chiffon. The differences are largely in the size of yarns used and methods of coloring. To the above might be added such special varieties of cloth as sheetings, India linen, long cloth, mull, lawn, organdy, cotton voile, seersucker, shirting, etc. Among the plain weaves in wool goods are wool muslin, broadcloth, flannel, voile, nun's veiling, panama, woolen cloths, etc. In linens one may find linings, coatings, trouserings, and so on. In silks the plain weaves include taffeta, most of the foulards, and a number of other fabrics finished in several styles.

Showing the corded effects produced by using yarns of unequal size in the making of the cloth are poplin, pique, whipcord, Bedford cord, plain repp, grosgrain, ottoman, faille, and several others.

Twill weaves.-In the twill weaves the threads or yarns do not pass over and under regularly as in the plain weaves previously described. Instead the threads are so woven together as to pass over one and under two, or over one and under three, four, five, or six; or over two or three and under one, two, three or four. Besides these there may be several other combinations, more than can well be described here. The best way to get a clear idea of twill weaves is by the study of cloth actually woven in these ways. Most twills have a diagonal effect or appearance. This is produced by having the filling thread pass under and over a different set of warp threads each time. The order of interlacing for the regular diagonal twills is usually moved over one thread to the right, or to the left, with each filling thread that is woven. This results in the forming of the diagonal ridges on the surface of the cloth.

As with the plain weaves, a great number of variations are possible in the way of using yarns of different sizes, of different qualities, and of different colors. In fact there is much greater opportunity for variation in the twill weave than in the plain. For example, weavers can vary the direc tion of the diagonal lines to almost any angle. The lines can be made to curve, to wave, and to take other forms. When the direction of the diagonal lines is reversed at short intervals so as to form a zigzag line, the figure is known as "herringbone," because of its supposed likeness to the arrangement of the backbone in a herring.

The object of twill weaving is not simply that of producing more fancy and attractive fabrics than plain cloths, but also of making heavier and stronger cloth. Twills are almost invariably closer in texture than plain weaves.

In appearance, twills differ from plain weaves in that the surfaces are covered with diagonal lines running across the cloth. When these lines are very clearly marked the cloth is called diagonal rather than twill, but it should be remembered that diagonals are nothing but very clearly marked twills.

Some example of cotton twills are jean, ticking, drilling, moleskin, canton flannel, twilled dimity, etc. Linen twills include linen ticking, drilling, table and towel drills, marsella cloth, etc. Wool twills comprise serge, prunella, thibet, cashmere, merino, buckskin, etc. Among silk twills are silk serge, twill foulard, and silk croise.

Satin weaves.-The satin or sateen weave is a special form of the twill in which the principle of the twill is employed, but in which no trace of the twill structure, such as diagonal lines, is visible on the surface of the cloth. The result is a fabric, close in texture, with a smooth, glossy finish and generally a dull back.

By closely examining a piece of satin or sateen cloth, the student will find that the smooth, shiny surface is due to the fact that the threads lie parallel and close to each other and pass under the threads running at right angles only at intervals of six, seven, eight, and more cross threads. That is, the overshot threads pass for considerable distances. before being crossed by the threads running in the opposite direction. The interlacing is managed at such irregular places and intervals in the cloth as to prevent any line or twill figure forming.

Satin weaves in cotton goods are frequent and numerous, but are generally called sateen or satine. Such goods are used extensively in making linings, night shirts, pajamas, and certain grades of work shirts. The heavier qualities are used for corsets, shoe linings, etc. Cotton is often mixed with silk in making satin weaves, threads being so arranged that most of the silk shows on the face while the cotton remains on the back. Such goods are often called cotton-back satins. Satin rhadame is another cotton-mixed silk satin. Atlas cloth is still another, but this is sometimes made up of cotton or even of linen alone.

Linen is sometimes woven in satin weaves and, like cotton, is used for linings and other uses. Wool is worked up in the satin weaves for dress goods such as satin cloth or satin de laine.

In silk, however, satin weaves are most common. The peculiar quality of silk, its glossy, bright surface, gives if excellent appearance in the satins and satin-finished goods. Among the silk satins there are the ordinary satins; satin de Lyon, a twilled back satin often ornamented with hair or line stripes, and used for linings, especially in coat sleeves; satin de chine, a soft, fine fabric also used as lining; duchess satin, a fine quality of high luster and soft texture; satin foulard; marabout satin, smooth and fine, used in millinery; and sun satin, a ribbed or lined cloth also used in millinery.

Style fabrics in satin.-During the last few years satinfinished goods have had much popular favor. Several special variations have naturally been created, such as marveilleux, a satin-faced fabric showing a twill back; messaline, a soft, thin lustrous silk with a satin finish; satin charmeuse, a very rich appearing satin-finished fabric especially well suited to draping; satin crepe, a silk fabric combining the crepe feature with the satin weave; and crepe meteor, a silk fabric somewhat less brilliant than satin for the reason that the overshot is not so long. Crepe meteor has, in other words, a satin weave on a small scale.

Pile weaves.-Pile fabrics are characterized by having elastic fuzzy surfaces. This hairy or fuzzy surface is the particular part to which the name "the pile" is given. The commonest examples are velvet and plush. In those fabrics the pile consists of threads standing upright and all cut off evenly. In velvets these threads are shorter than in plushes; otherwise there is no difference. But there are other pile fabrics in which the pile consists of loops of threads instead of ends as in velvets and plush. Turkish toweling is an example of this kind.

During the last few years great progress has been made in the manufacture of plushes in which the pile resembles animal furs, as for example silk seal plush, broadtail or baby lamb, Persian lamb, Russian lamb, and pony skin. Very light pile fabrics, such as chiffon plush, have come into considerable use for trimmings, millinery, and so on. With silk pile fabrics as with wool, cheaper textiles are generally introduced for backing. Velvets and plushes are so generally part cotton that a silk velvet should be considered as having a cotton back unless it is definitely stated that it is "silk backed." In carpet manufacture, the pile weave is very important. Brussels, Wilton, and tapestry are all pile fabrics, as the student may readily observe. Chenille cloth is a fabric with a pile on both surfaces.

Gauze weaves.-Gauze or netting is a form of weave produced on a special loom. The fabrics are very light and open, resembling lace. In fact, the progress in machinemade laces during the last few years has reduced the number of kinds of fancy nettings. The essential characteristic of gauze or netting is that in its construction, in addition to the regular sets of warp and weft threads used in a plain weave, extra threads, generally warp, are introduced which do not run parallel with the rest of the warp. These extra threads variously intertwine with the regular threads.

The commonest and simplest form of netting has an extra warp thread for every regular warp thread. The extra thread is wound around the regular thread as the weaving proceeds, a half-turn for every new filling thread inserted. This construction can easily be seen and studied in a piece of mosquito netting, where the threads and the mesh or openings between the threads are relatively coarse, and therefore easy to study. The weave found in mosquito netting and in the finer fabrics used for dress purposes, but of similarly simple construction, are known as leno weaves, and the looms making them are called leno looms. Nettings of various kinds are made from cotton, linen, wool, and silk and are used for light-weight gowns, flounces, window curtains, and for many other purposes in dress and dress decoration.

Double-cloth weaves.-Double-cloth weaving is a process of making two cloths at the same time. Two sets of warp and of filling are used, but in the weaving process the two are attached by interlacing which makes the finished product a solid fabric. This construction is used in making heavy cloths such as heavy overcoatings, cloakings, pile fabrics, golf or Albert cloth, etc. This construction is also used where it is desired to use expensive textiles such as silk for the face and have considerable thickness or bulk back of it of cheaper materials. Many rich, heavy appearing silks are constructed in this way. In some instances this method of weaving is not limited to simply doubling the cloth, or making two-ply fabric as it is called, but is also used in making three-ply and even four-ply cloths. These weaves are especially serviceable in places where great strength and wear-resisting qualities are necessary as in cotton machinery belting.

The double-cloth weave is also used in making tubular cloths, such as pillow cases, pockets, seamless grain bags, etc. In these cases, however, the top and bottom fabrics are not connected as in regular double cloth.

Lappet weaves.-Lappet weaves are imitations of embroidery introduced into other weaves, such as plain or gauze. By means of a mechanical device on the loom, simple little designs are stitched into the warp, as, for instance, in dotted swiss, and certain narrow, continuous figures running into stripes or scrolls. Elaborate figures are not possible by this method of weaving.

Figured weaves.-Figured weaves are produced mainly by jacquard looms, especially in making elaborate figuring. This loom is so devised that every warp thread is separately controlled and may be raised or lowered at the will of the operator or according to the design worked out before.

The control of the warp is made automatic by the use of pasteboard cards with holes punched in them corresponding to the design desired. In the loom the mechanical arrangement, similar to that of a piano player using paper record rolls, is guided by the perforations or holes in the cards, the proper warp threads are drawn up or let down, and the filling thread is shot through in the usual way.

There is practically no limit to the number of figures or designs possible on the jacquard loom. It uses all kinds of textiles. It combines other types of weaves as a groundwork for the figures, and it uses yarns of many colors. Cotton and linen damask are examples of figured weaving in the vegetable textiles. Wool damask, brocade, carpets, rugs, fancy vesting, etc., are common wool goods woven in jacquard looms. But in the silks the greatest variety and qualities are to be found in damasks, brocades, broches, and brocatels. These figures, some flat, some raised, some sunken in the fabrics, are made on all sorts of regular weaves, plain, net, twill, satin, and pile. The goods are used for many purposes of a decorative character, for dress, upholstery, robes, hangings, carpets, etc.

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