Drawing Warp, Silk Weaving, Paterson, N.J.

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tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The United States manufactures more silk than any other country in the world. Paterson leads all other cities in the silk industry. Nearly all our raw silk is imported from Asia. Many sections of our country are adapted to silkworm culture; but the cost of labor is too high to make the industry profitable. The colony of Virginia once undertook the production raw silk. King James I disliked tobacco, and he needed silk for the English mills. It was therefore ordered that every planter should tend to mulberry trees for every 100 acres he held. If he failed he was fined $50. The raw silk may be shipped to us in skeins of single thread. But much of it is in the form of waste silk. By this is meant bunches or bales of cocoons. These are washed to remove the gum, the cocoons are picked apart by machines, and the threads are combed into small bundles called laps. The laps are passed to the spinning mills and twisted into yarn. Some silk goods are woven in the natural color and then printed. The other method is to dye the yearn first. Then comes the weaving. The first process is pictured in this view. This is drawing the wrap. The wrap is the lengthwise threads in a piece of cloth. The number of threads drawn from the spools depends on the texture of the cloth to be made and its width. Drawing is such a fine process that it is almost always done by hand. On the left of the view you see the hundreds of spools of silk. From these the men draw threads, one at a time, through reeds that look like fine combs. You can see these on top of the spool frame. The reeds keep the threads separate. The threads are then wound on the large reels. These you see at the right. The strips on these reels are drawn threads that form the warp. Keystone ID: 22110 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.