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phlet on the use of this instrument, and Mr. Hoffinann makes them for sale in Leipsic. The price of one is forty Saxon dollars. The softness of the fibre, as already observed, is of great importance. It does not depend on fineness, and consists of a peculiar feel, approaching to that of silk or down. The difference in the value of two pieces of cloth, made of two kinds of wool equally fine, but one distinguished for its softness, and the other for the opposite quality, is such, that, with the same process and expense of manufacture, the one will be worth from twenty to twenty-five per cent. more than the other. Mr. Bakewell maintains that the degree of softness depends principally on the nature of the soil on which sheep are fed; that sheep pastured on chalk districts, or light, calcareous soil, usually produce hard wool; while the wool of those that are pastured on rich, loamy, argillaceous soils, is always distinguished by its softness. The Saxon wool is generally softer than the Spanish. Hard wools are all defective in felting properties. The felting property of wool is known to every one. The process of hatmaking, for example, depends entirely upon it. The wool of which hats are made is neither spun nor woven; but locks of it, being thoroughly intermixed and compressed in warm water, cohere, and form a solid, tenacious substance. Whole tribes use felted wool for cloth. Cloth and woollen goods are made with us from wool possessing this property: the wool is carded, spun, woven, and then, being put into the fulling-mill, the process of felting takes place. The strokes of the mill make the fibres cohere: the piece subjected to the operation contracts in length and breadth, and its texture becomes more compact and uniform. This process is essential to the beauty and strength of woollen cloth. But the long wool, of which stuffs and worsted goods are made, is deprived of its felting properties. This is done by passing the wool through heated iron combs, which take away the lamina, or feathery part of the wool, and approximate it to the nature of silk or cotton. Long or combing wool may vary in length from three to eight inches. The shorter combing wools are principally used for hose, and are spun softer than the long combing wools; the former being made into what is called hard, and the latter into soft worsted yarn. Short wool is used in the cloth manufacture, and is, therefore, frequently called clothing wool. It may vary in
length from one to three or four inches: if it be longer, it requires to be cut or broken to prepare it for the manufacture. In clothing wool, the color of the fleece should always approach as much as possible to the purest white; because such wool is not only necessary for cloths dressed white, but for all cloths that are to be dyed bright colors, for which a clear white ground is required to give a due degree of richness and lustre. Some of the English fine woolled sheep, as the Norfolk and South Down, have black or gray faces and legs. In all such sheep there is a tendency to produce gray wool on some part of the body, or to produce some gray fibres intermixed with the fleece, which renders the wool unfit for many kinds of white goods; for, though the black hairs may be too few and minute to be detected by the wool-sorter, yet, when the cloth is stoved, they become visible, forming reddish spots, by which its color is much injured. The Herefordshire sheep, which have white faces, are entirely free from this defect, and yield a fleece without any admixture of gray hairs. The cleanliness of the wool is an important consideration. The Spanish wool, for example, is always scoured after it is shorn, as stated above; whereas the wool of many other countries is only imperfectly washed previously to its being shorn. In consequence of which, it is said that while a pack of English clothing wool, of 240 pounds weight, will waste about seventy pounds in the manufacture, the same quantity of Spanish wool will not waste more than forty-eight pounds. Cleanness, therefore, is an object of much importance to the buyer. Whiteness of fleece is of less importance in the long combing than in clothing wool, u ovided it be free from gray hairs. Sometimes, however, the fleece, has a dingy brown color, called a winter stain, which is a sure indication that the wool is not in a thoroughly sound state. Such fleeces are carefully thrown out by the wool-sorter, being suitable only for goods that are to be dyed black. The fineness of heavy combing wool is not of so much consequence as its other qualities. We have already spoken, in the article Sheep, of the deterioration of British wool from the raising of fine mutton. The better the meat, the coarser the wool. However, whilst the average weight of a fleece of the German Merino breed is about two and a half to three pounds, that of a fat Leicester sheep is from eight to nine pounds; and thus the large fleece some
what makes up the loss of fineness by increase of weight, so that it is probable, that, notwithstanding the decline in the price of wool, taking into account the greater weight of the carcass and the greater weight of the fleece, sheep produce more at present to the British farmer than at any former period. According to a table, formed by order of the lords' committee of 1828, and published in their report on the wool duty question, the quantity produced, on an average of years, in England, is 111,160,560 pounds: the importation was, in 1828, 29,122,447 pounds, making a total of 140,283,007 pounds for every year's consumption and exports in the shape of manufactured goods. In Germany, the fine wool produced has surprisingly increased since 1815, or since peace took place. We have spoken of the history of this branch of industry, in Germany, in the article Sheep. We only add, that, from papers laid before the British parliament, it appears, that for the year ending January 5, 1829, there were imported from Germany 23,110,822 pounds of wool, which, calculated at an average of 1s. 6d. per pound, makes a return, from England alone, of £1,733,311, 13s. Admitting only one half more for the wool exported to France, the Nether lands, Russia, Poland and Switzerland, and assuming that the internal manufactures of Germany consume one half of the wool produced, which is short of the
truth, the result will give £5,199,934, 19s of annual value, created by the growth of wool now raised, instead of the worthless hair produced upon the old indigenous sheep of Germany, which was scarcely in sufficient quantity to supply the peasantry with worsted petticoats and stockings. It is not only in Saxony that fine wool is raised: in Silesia, Moravia, Austria Proper, Bohemia, also in Hungary, &c., noble flocks have sprung up. Until the elector of Saxony received a present of a small Merino flock from the king of Spain, about thirty years since the only fine wool known was the Spanish wool, which at that time was supplied to England, France and the Netherlands for their fine cloth manufactures. Unfortunately for the Spanish flock-masters, the captains of Napoleon's armies which invaded Spain, drove several of the finest flocks into France; and many others were killed or dispersed by the various parties which ravaged that country during the contest for its dominion. So completely were they destroyed, and the original system of keeping the sheep lost, in the convulsions of that period, that the wool has degenerated into a quality not worth more than one third of that of the same stock of sheep in Germany. The following table, taken from the English customhouse returns of imports, will show the effects of this transfer of the Merino breed from Spain to Germany :—
Spain and Portugal,.. 7,794,758
In 1800, the ports of both countries were open to English commerce, as well as at the two latter periods; so that, in fact, the progressive increase of importations from Germany, and the decrease from Spain, are the best possible tests of the revolution which has taken place in the relative position of those two countries as respects the wool cultivation. A table below shows the different prices. But not Germany only has become a rival of Spain: two distant colonies of England may soon vie with both-New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. In the year 1795, a small flock of sheep, not exceeding one dozen, was carried to the upper colony of New South Wales, from the cape of Good Hope. From these sprung the vast flocks which now exist there. The quantity of wool yielded for a long time was too small to form a shipment to England; but in 1804, some Merinos, purchased
According to a work by M. Ternaux (q. v.), Paris, 1827, on sheep-breeding and the wool trade in France, the Spanish wool was, forty years ago, the dearest. Since 1794, but particularly since 1804, its price has sunk considerably, whilst that of Saxon wool has risen. In 1804, a kilogramme of the best Spanish wool cost twenty-four francs, in 1827, only nine francs; the best French wool at the first period, eighteen francs, at present, twenty francs; and Saxon electoral wool, at the first period, sixteen francs, at present, thirty-four francs. As London is the great mart of the world, and the consumption of wool in England so enormous,32,000,000 pounds of foreign wool alone in a year, a table giving the imports of wool from all quarters into Great Britain will afford some idea of the relative production of wool in the various countries.
Seville, Portugal, Lambs', Australian, best,
2d and inferior,
Van Diemen's Land, Greasy and inferior, "
Clean and better,
Eng. Merino, washed,
In the grease,
Goats' wool, Turkey,
66 1831, " 5,622,960 " For more information, we refer the reader to the various English publications on this subject, which include several able treatises on the question of the wool trade. Various German and French treatises also should be mentioned; as Wagner's Contributions to the Knowledge and Treatment of Wool and Sheep (2d ed., Berlin, 1821); F. B. Weber, On the Raising of fine and noble Wool (Breslau, 1822); J. M. baron von Ehrenfels, On the Electoral Sheep and Electoral Wool (Prague, 1822); Christ. Charles André, Latest Views on the Raising of Wool and Sheep, taken from three French Writers (Prague, 1825, 4to.); Sheep and Wool, by professor Ribbe (Prague, 1825); Petri's Whole Subject of Sheep-Breeding, &c. (Vienna, 1825, 2 vols., 2d ed.); The latest and most interesting Notices respecting a Knowledge of the finer Kinds of Sheep and Wool, by the same (Vienna, 1829); On the Wool Trade of Germany in 1829, by Elsner (1830): all of these works are in German: further, Nouveau Traité sur Laine, by viscount Perrault de Jotemps (Paris, 1824); Histoire de l'Introduction des Moutons à Laine fine d'Espagne dans les divers États de Europe, &c., by M. C. P. Lasteyrie (Paris, 1802); Notice sur l'Amélioration des Troupeaux de Moutons en France, by G. L Ternaux (Paris, 1827). The reports on the trade in the newly-erected wool markets at Berlin, Breslau, Stettin, Dresden, Leipsic, Nuremberg, &c., published in the Allgemeine Zeitung, are also of much interest. (See the next article.)
WOOLLENS. The fibres of wool, being contorted and elastic, are drawn out and spun by machinery in some respects similar to that used for cotton, but differing in various particulars. In the preceding article, it is mentioned that there are two sorts of wool which afford the basis of different fabrics, the long wool or worsted, in which the fibres are rendered parallel by the process of combing, the material of which camlets, bombazines, &c., are made, and the short wool, prepared by carding, like cotton, which is used, in different degrees of fineness, for broadcloths, flannels, and a multitude of other fabrics. This wool, when carded, is formed into
small cylindrical rolls, which are joined together, and stretched and spun, by a slubbing or roving machine, and a jenny or mule, in both of which the spindles are mounted on a carriage, which passes backwards and forwards, so as to stretch the material, at the same time that it is twisted. On account of the roughness of the fibres, it is necessary to cover them with oil or grease, to enable them to move freely upon each other during the spinning and weaving. After the cloth is woven, the oily matter is removed by scouring, in order to restore the roughness to the fibres preparatory to the subsequent operation of fulling.—In articles which are made of long wool, the texture is complete when the stuff issues from the loom. The pieces are subsequently dyed, and a gloss is communicated to them by pressing them between heated metallic surfaces. But in cloths made of short wool, the web, when taken from the loom, is loose and open, and requires to be submitted to another operation, called fulling (q. v.), by which the fibres are made to felt, and combine more closely. (See Felting.) By this process, the cloth is reduced in its dimensions, and the beauty and stability of the texture are greatly improved. The tendency to become thickened by fulling, is peculiar to. wool and hair, and does not exist in the fibres of cotton or flax. It depends on a certain roughness of these animal fibres, which permits motion in one direction, while it retards it in another. It thus promotes entanglements of the fibres, which serve to shorten and thicken the woven fabric. Before the cloth is sent to the fulling-mill, it is necessary to cleanse it from all the unctuous matter which was applied to prepare the fibres for spinning. The nap, or downy surface of broadcloths, is raised by a process, which, while it improves the beauty, tends somewhat to diminish the strength of the texture. It is produced by carding the cloth with a species of burrs, the fruit of the common teasel (dipsacus fullonum), which is cultivated for the purpose. This operation extricates a part of the fibres, and lays them in a parallel direction. The nap, composed of these fibres, is then cut off to an even surface, by the process of shearing. This is performed in various ways; but, in one of the most common methods, a large spiral blade revolves rapidly in contact with another blade, while the cloth is stretched over a bed, or support, just near enough for the projecting filaments to be cut off at a
uniform length, while the main texture remains uninjured.
Manufacture of Woollens. In England, the arts of spinning wool and manufacturing the yarn into cloth, were undoubtedly introduced by the Romans. The manufacture of broadcloths was established soon after the year 1200, if not previously. But the woollen manufacture of Flanders being, at this period, and long after, in a comparatively advanced state, English wool was exported in large quantities to Bruges and other Flemish cities, whence fine cloths and other products were brought back in exchange. Edward III invited over Flemish weavers, fullers, dyers and others. Shortly after the first emigration of Flemings, or in 1337, an act was passed, prohibiting the wearing of any cloths made beyond sea, and prohibiting the export of English wool. From that period, the manufacture has always been regarded as of primary importance. During the reign of Charles II, there were many, though unfounded, complaints of the decay of the manufacture; and, by way of encouraging it, an act was passed, ordering that all persons should be buried in woollen shrouds. This act preserved its place in the statute Dook for more than 130 years. Towards the end of the seventeenth century, Mr. Gregory King and doctor Davenant (Davenant's Works, Whitworth's ed., vol. ii, p. 233) estimated the value of the wool shorn in England at £2000,000 a year; and they
supposed that the value of the wool (including that imported from abroad) was quadrupled in the manufacture, making the entire value of the woollen articles annually produced in England and Wales, £8,000,000, of which about £2,000,000 were exported. In 1700 and 1701, the official value of the woollens exported amounted to about £3,000,000 a year. Owing to the vast increase in the wealth and population of the country, the manufacture must have been very greatly extended during the last century; but the increase in the amount of the exports has been comparatively inconsiderable. At an average of the six years ending with 1789, the annual official value of the exports was £3,544,160 a year, being an increase of only about £540,000 on the amount exported in 1700. The extraordinary increase of the cotton manufacture, soon after 1780, and the extent to which cotton articles then began to be substituted for those of wool, though it did not occasion any absolute decline of the manufacture, no doubt contributed powerfully to check its progress. In 1802, the official value of the exports rose to £7,321,012, being the largest amount they have ever reached. In 1812, they sunk to £4,376,479. During the three years ending with 1830, the official and the declared or real values of the woollen manufactures exported from the United Kingdom have been as follows:
£5,372,490 £5,558,709 5,125,984 4,661,259 4,850,884
Official value of woollen manufactures exported, £5,728,969 Declared or real value of ditto,
Number of people employed, 480,000, or perhaps 500,000.
We believe, however, taking Scotland into account, and looking at the probable annual expenditure of each individual on woollens, that the total value of the manufactured articles annually produced in
Great Britain may, at present, be moderately calculated at £20,000,000, or £22,000,000. But, on the other hand, Mr. Stevenson has materially underrated the proportion of the entire value of the