Weaving Linen Fabric, Montreal, Canada

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
After the bobbins are filled they are sent to the weaving room. You can see a number of looms busy weavin When sugar beets are pulled, their tops are cut off, and their roots are stacked in great piles. Sometimes these piles are made in the fields where they are grown, and the beets are hauled later to the sugar factory. Such piles are to be seen frequently in Colorado, where there is little rainfall. The heaps are often higher than a man's head, and cover large areas of ground. The roots must be stored indoors before frost comes. They usually are hauled to the factory, where they are dumped into bins such as you see. The beets here have been unloaded from freight cars, into the storage shed. The bins inside these sheds are V-shaped. At the bottom of the bin are little canals through which a stream of water runs to carry the beets to a large washing drum. This drum is partly filled with water. As it turns over and over, the beets are thoroughly washed. You will observe that this pile consists of tons and tons of beets. They are larger than the garden beet, and more irregular in form. They look here somewhat like huge, pointed sweet potatoes. The channel in which the water flows is directly beneath the little valley that extends between the beet ridges the entire length of the shed. After the beets are washed they fall into a chute which carries them to the floor below. Here they drop into a huge slicer, equipped with large knives that revolve from 100 to 150 times a minute. These cut the beets into strips or slices. Different methods are used in different factories to extract the juice from the slices. In some factories the pieces are run through presses, and the juice is squeezed out the same way that cider is squeezed from apples. But there is a less expensive way shown in view 271. The processes of weaving linen are much the same as those of weaving cotton goods. Our great-grandmothers spun by hand many fine pieces of linen for dress goods, and for great-grandfather's pantaloons. The spinning was done on spinning wheels run by the foot. Cloth was woven on hand looms. The methods of weaving in our large factories to-day are much the same as those our great-grandmothers used. One set of linen fibers runs to the loom length-wise. This is called the warp. It is the threads of the warp that you see coming down from the floor above. Each of these threads passes through an eye fastened to a pair of heddles. Each thread then runs between fine wires, set in a narrow, oblong frame. These wires are called reeds. The eyes and the reeds prevent the threads of the warp from becoming tangled. Linen is made as other cloths are made, by shooting the threads of woof cross-wise through the threads of the warp. As one of the heddles lifts its set of threads, the shuttle bearing the threads of the woof travels across between the layers. Then the first heddle drops, and the second rises. The threads of the woof are again shot across. In this way, the fabric is woven very smoothly and very rapidly. They are some linen factories in the United States and in Canada, but the greatest of these are in Europe. Throughout the Netherlands, France, Austria, Great Britain, and Ireland are large linen mills. The linens of Belgium are especially fine. Here are made laces and handkerchiefs. France excels in cambrics and lawns. Keystone ID: 20932 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.