WEAVING. The art of forming cloth in a loom by the union or intertexture of threads. The art of weaving is of great antiquity : it has been practised in all ages and in all countries • but it would impossible mpossible within our limits to'give even a sketch of its history, progress, and successive improvements down to its present perfect state. We had in tended to present the reader with a sketch of the various improvements that have been made in the loom from its simplest construction, down to tho elabo rate invention of Jacquard; but it was found that this could not be effected without the introduction of numerous diagrams and details, which would have been foreign to the purpose of the work. The loom is described in its proper place in this volume. The manner in which the threads are spun, for weaving, is described under the heads COTTON MANUFACTURE, FLAX, SILK MAN UFACTURE, WOOL. The thread for the warp, is first wound or spooled, which operation consists in winding it upon spools or bobbins. The next opera tion is that of warping, the object of which is, so to arrange all the longitudi nal threads, which are intended to form the chain or warp of the web, as to form when spread out a chain of parallel threads. In forming the warp, a suffi cient number of bobbins, filled with yarn, must be taken, to furnish the number of threads of the required length of the piece of cloth intended to be woven. These threads are wound on a large reel, from the bobbin. This contrivance is termed the warping machine. The next operation is that of beaming, which con sists in winding the upon the yarn beam of the loom. This is performed by the weaver, who receives his warp from the warping machine, in a bunch or ball. The next thing to be done, is the draw ing or entering, which consists in taking the threads. of the warp in proper order, and passing them through the headles and reed, two threads of the warp being taken through every interval of the reed.
These operations being finished, the cords or mounting which moves the headles is applied, another reed is placed in the lay. The warp is then divided into small portions, which arc tied to a shaft connected by cords to the cloth beam.
If the loom is a power loom, the warp is dressed by what is termed the dressing machine ; but in hand looms, it is dressed, a portion at a time. Dressing in sizing the yarn with a inuci lage of vegetable matter, boiled in water. Wheat flour, and sometimes potatoes, are the substances commonly employed for cotton and linen. The effect of the sizing process, is to give sufficient strength and tenacity to the yarn, to enable it to bear the operation of weaving. It also, by laying smoothly all the ends of the fibres, which compose the raw material, from which the yarn is spun, tends to dimin ish friction during the operation, and to render the fabric smooth and glossy: After dressing, the yarn requires to be dried. Sonic specimens of linen fab rics obtained from Egyptian mummies are of a fineness rarely equalled by weav ers of modern times, though it is tolera bly certain, that the mechanism employed in its manufiieture, could not have been nearly us perfect as that employed at the present time. Among the different de scriptions of weaving we may mention chiefly plain weaving, tweeling, weaving double cloth, weaving crossed warps or nets, fancy weaving, figured weaving, car peting, and piled fabrics, many of which are subdivided into different materials. In addition to vegetable and animal snbstan ces, may be mentioned metallic tissues or threads formed of metal, and glass. For more information, see LOOM.