Copying Design to be Printed on Cotton Coth, Lawrence

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
After the cotton fibers are twisted into threads called yarn, this yarn is out into great looms and woven into cloth. The process of weaving consists in criss-crossing, in regular fashion, two layers of threads running in opposite directions. After the cloth is woven there is still much to do before it is marketable. From this point on, the various processes are referred to as finishing and printing. When the cloth comes from the looms it is a brownish gray. It must first be singed to make it smooth and bleached to make it pure white. It is singed and bleached in strips. In the mills here pictured, pieces of gray cloth are sewn together till they make a strip about 40,000 yards long. That is, 23 miles of cloth move over gas flames which burn off the fuzz. This is a delicate process, for if the flame is a bit too high, or the seed of the cloth too slow, the strip will catch fire. The strip of cloth next passes into bleaching vats where it is boiled in chemicals which make it pure white. This cloth is now ready for market as white cloth. But much of the demand is for colored or patterned goods. The patterns are printed on the white cloth by copper rolls, much after the fashion of paper printing on roller presses. To get the design on the rolls is the next step. This is the making and the transferring of the design. Skilled artists draft suitable designs. These are photographed, engraved on zinc, and transferred to copper rollers by a chemical process. Each color demands a separate plate. The girl in the view is busy painting on the engraved zinc plate, those parts of the pattern which belong to one color. Making ready the copper rolls for printing is one of the most interesting processes of clothmanufacture. Keystone ID: 22082 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.