* Textile *
A textile or cloth is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibres together (felt).
* Manufacture Of Clothes *
The major steps in the manufacture of clothes are four: first to harvest and clean the fiber or wool; second, to card it and spin it into threads; third, to weave the threads into cloth; and, finally to fashion and sew the cloth into clothes.
- Picking removed foreign matter (dirt, insects, leaves, seeds) from the fiber. Early pickers beat the fibers to loosen them and removed debris by hand. Machines used rotating teeth to do the job, producing a thin “lap” ready for carding.
- Carding combed the fibers to align and join them into a loose rope called a “sliver.” Hand carders pulled the fibers between wire teeth set in boards. Machines did the same thing with rotating cylinders. Slivers (rhymes with divers) were then combined, twisted, and drawn out into “roving.”
- Spinning twisted and drew out the roving and wound the resulting yarn on a bobbin. A spinning wheel operator drew out the cotton by hand. A series of rollers accomplished this on machines called “throstles” and “spinning mules.”
- Warping gathered yarns from a number of bobbins and wound them close together on a reel or spool. From there they were transferred to a warp beam, which was then mounted on a loom. Warp threads were those that ran lengthwise on the loom.
- Weaving was the final stage in making cloth. Crosswise woof threads were interwoven with warp threads on a loom. A 19th century power loom worked essentially like a hand loom, except that its actions were mechanized.
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