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or Textile Fabrics Textiles

threads, warp, woof, thread, pattern, row, blue, piece, loom and weaving

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TEXTILES, or TEXTILE FABRICS. Stuffs made by the weaving together of threads of any sort, so as to produce a material with a nearly solid surface. A fishing-net or the like is not a textile fabric because the cords which compose it are not woven together, but cross one another at equally distant intervals and are strongly knotted at those points. But mosquito-netting is a textile, although very open, because the threads are merely held by their own friction. On the other hand, if a basket is made by weaving together strips of wood or bamboo, such a material is hardly cal led a textile, hut this merely because of its to tally different usage. The cane seat of a chair is as truly woven as a piece of muslin or silk.

Textiles in the usual sense are made of the twisted fibres spun into thread of flax or linen, cotton, hemp, jute, silk or wool. The sim plest weaving is that which produces our com mon cotton and linen cloth; that is to say, the threads are merely woven together, one up and one down, and all in the same manner, except that at the edge on either side of the piece what is called a selvage is produced to prevent the raveling out of the threads. From this to the most complicated fabric like brocade the differ ences are almost infinite, and it Is only with the most elaborate diagrams and the fullest expla nations that the process of weaving a figured broche silk or a velvet with patterns of pile upon pile can be explained. Carpet weaving (see CARPET) differs somewhat from ordinary textiles, and tapestry differs yet more and is often excluded from textile fabrics altogether.

The general nature of a loom is that the threads of the warp are divided into two sets, one of which is thrown upward, while the other is thrown down, and at the same moment a shuttle carrying a thread of the woof is driven through between the two sets of warp threads. The next movement of the loom reverses the two sets of warp threads, throwing the upper one down and the lower one up, compressing and drawing tight the woof thread into the loops which show on the surface of the stuff and go to form the surface, and the shuttle is driven through again in the opposite direction. The constant repetition of this forward and backward movement of the shuttle gives a strip of woven fabric which continually grows broader; and as each movement of the shuttle is made, an appliance drives the last thread of the woof back against the others, so that this growing strip of woven stuff is kept at a uni form state of firmness and solidity. It is in this way that the simplest fabrics of linens and cottons are made. If it be desired to produce a somewhat more elaborate weave, such as twilled material, this is done by raising two threads of the warp and dropping one; or by raising three threads of the warp and dropping one, and so on. In this way, as is evident, the threads of the woof are seen lying in loops or what seems to be stitches longer than those of the simplest weave, and these longer loops arrange themselves in a steplike diagonal across the woof of the stuff. It is clear that, by the

increasing complications of such alternate lift ings and lowerings of the warp threads, more patterns may be made. If, then, the threads of the woof are of a different color from those of the warp, there is produced a surface whose general color is half way between the two colors of warp and woof. If we take a step further in complexity and use three or four warp threads say, of red, while the rest remain white, and do the same thing with the woof threads, we produce stripes three or four threads wide; and where these stripes cross one another there will be a little square of the solid color of the three or four threads, while the stripes elsewhere remain of the half way tint alluded to. Again if three threads of different colors are passed by the shuttle at one time, the threads of the warp also being grouped in threes, there will result a simple alternating pattern, which is often very attractive. In deed, much of the primitive designing of early races is based upon such very simple produc tions of the loom ; for it seems that the mind of man is never tired of a pattern produced by up and down, in and out, in their different combinations. In the most complicated pattern of a brocade, such as the Japanese send us occasionally, in which a row of dragons will alternate with a row of representations of (the sacred pearP with its flames, and those again with a row of kylins or other fabulous mon sters, all being interspersed with elaborate leaf age, open flowers of the camellia and bursting fruits of the pomegranate, the same being re produced in many colors—even in such a com plex pattern it is readily seen that these figures are arranged in regular sequence, and that the colors are introduced in a definite and =alter able succession. Thus a blue thread of the woof may not appear more than once in each flower, of a certain row across a piece of stuff, and this appearance of the blue thread may be for a loop of a quarter of an inch long only, while all the rest of that blue thread is found to be hanging loose behind the finished fabric Again this blue thread may not appear at all in six or seven inches of the length of the stuff, and then it may supply a wholly different detail of the pattern. Still that blue loop in the de sign as seen from the front or (right side" is found in each one of the flowers or animals which form the cross row of the pattern; and in the next row of similar flowers or animals (which may be two feet away in the length of the piece) this blue thread may be replaced by a crimson one, which will also appear at ex actly the same intervals and at exactly the same point in each one of the flowers, or of a unit of design. It is interesting to take a piece of very rich fabric with an elaborate pat tern and to examine it with a view to Just such peculiarities of weave. Anyone who has watched a simple loom at work and has mas tered the process may then understand in great measure the workings of the far more elaborate loom of the silk weaver, who is producing pat terned fabrics.

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