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