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Cotton Manufacturing

Cotton Manufacturing
Author: Brooks C. P.
Title: Cotton Manufacturing
Release Date: 2018-08-13
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Examiner to the City and Guilds of London Institute; Sen. Honours Medallist, Cotton Manufacturing, 1887; Late Lecturer on Cotton Spinning, Weaving, and Designing, at the Blackburn Technical Institutions.


Third Edition.


[All rights reserved.]

Cloth, crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
Second Edition.

A Handbook on all Calculations required in
Weaving and the Preparatory Processes, including
Standard Wage Lists. For further
particulars see the end pages of this book.



The lack of books relating to the weaving of cotton goodsis the motive which has led to the production of this work.Although several admirable books are extant on special branchesof textile industry, few, if any, works claim to treat practicallyof the whole range of processes popularly known as CottonManufacturing as at present conducted, and which, at the sametime, are within reach of the artisan’s pocket.

This class of work is all the more requisite in consequenceof the admirable system of trade education introduced by theCity and Guilds of London Institute, whose syllabuses for thesubjects of Cotton Manufacturing and Weaving and PatternDesigning are included in this work. It is hoped that thestudent in either of these subjects may find a handy book ofreference in this volume, which goes into explanatory detailsto as great an extent as space allows.

However, as the author has found, and doubtless manyothers actively engaged in the industry have discovered, it isbecoming a requisite in the mill that those employed there bepossessed of something more than “rule of thumb” systems ofworking—that careful and intelligent research and investigation isnecessary to success in every department. The writer truststhat this volume, based on practical experience and on theapplication of theoretical principles in the industry, may proveof assistance to such.

In addition to chapters on Weaving, in which reference ismade to most of the plain and figured fabrics woven in cotton,space is devoted to the preparatory processes, especially to the[vi]important one of Sizing; a chapter on Mill Calculations isadded, as well as a Glossary of Technical Terms—necessitatedby the nomenclature of different districts.

Acknowledgment is made of the assistance rendered bymany correspondents, whose suggestions have been, and will be,welcomed. The thanks of the author, and it may be addedthose of the reader, are due to the many firms who have lentblocks to illustrate and simplify the letterpress. Amongst thesemay be mentioned Messrs. David Sowden & Sons, Shipley;Butterworth & Dickinson, Burnley; J. H. Stott, Rochdale;Devoge & Co., Manchester; Willan & Mills; Ward Bros.; andW. Dickinson & Sons, Blackburn; whilst especial mention shouldbe made of Messrs. Howard & Bullough, of Accrington, whosesizing machinery has been selected for description; and of Messrs.Hy. Livesey, Limited, Blackburn, whose well-known weaving andpreparatory machinery is engraved.

C. P. B.

The Mount, Blackburn,
January, 1888.


In this edition some necessary additions and alterations havebeen made, especially in the statistical portion of the work; andas the City and Guilds of London Institute have altered theSyllabus of the textile subjects during the few months that haveelapsed since the publication of the First Edition, the old Syllabushas been replaced by the new one. Apart from these alterationsthe book retains its original form, and the author hopes thatthis issue will obtain from those interested in cotton manufacturingthe same kindly appreciation as the former edition.

C. P. B.

April, 1889.



CHAPTER I.—Introductory. 
History, Statistics, Cotton and Cotton Spinning, Cotton Manufacturing1
CHAPTER II.—Winding and Warping. 
Warp Yarn, Winding, Beaming, Sectional Warping, Ball Warping21
Materials, Mixing, Machinery32
CHAPTER IV.—Weaving. 
Plain Loom, Movements of Loom, Modifications of Loom, Splits52
CHAPTER V.—Cotton Cloth. 
Varieties, Dimensions, Standard Makes80
CHAPTER VI.—Fancy Weaving. 
Fancy Weaving by Tappets and Dobby, Analysis of Cloth, Tappets,Dobby, Gauze, Handkerchief Motion89
CHAPTER VII.—Jacquard. 
Jacquard Cloth, Woven Pile Cloths118
CHAPTER VIII.—Drop Boxes. 
Drop-Box Looms, Stripes, Checks, Spotting133
CHAPTER IX.—Calculations. 
Mill Calculations, Yarn Counts, Reeds, Healds, Cost of Cloth,Warping and Sizing Lengths, Wages, Speeds, Engines, Miscellaneous143
Syllabus of Technological Subjects161
Glossary of Technical Terms165





In the general acceptance of the term, manufacturingis understood to refer to the whole range of processeswhich convert a raw material into thefinished article, but whatever that word may usuallysignify, in the Cotton Trade it is technical for thatdepartment only, which comprises the conversion ofcotton yarn into woven fabric, and as such is understoodin the ensuing pages.

This department is frequently worked apart fromspinning, and the gradual and marked severance of thecotton industry into the two great departments of spinningand manufacturing is a striking feature of this great trade,although the reason of cotton spinning finding so fertilea soil in South Lancashire is no more apparent thanthe cause of North Lancashire being so favourable to theprosperity of cotton weaving. Probably accidental causesin the early days of the trade had much to do with itsfuture division—the fixing upon a South Lancashire townfor the establishment of the first spinning machinist’sworks, the fact that the factory system was firmly established[2]in the spinning department before the working oflooms in one building was possible, or at any rateadvisable, and the existence of large warehouses inNorth Lancashire for distributing to the hand-loomweavers their materials for use, were probably some ofthese causes.

The fact of the trade being carried on in twodivisions, each in different districts, has its disadvantages,the greatest being that of additional carriage—an extracost of no inconsiderable amount. To remove this andother disadvantages, many attempts have been made tointroduce the lacking department both in the North andSouth of Lancashire, but such attempts have generallyfailed to a greater or less extent, mainly in consequence ofthe incompetence of the hands, or rather the insufficientnumber of competent ones. Where the majority mayexcel in weaving, the number of good spinners is generallyvery small, and vice versâ. Another objection is thedisadvantage at which the one party is placed shouldthe production of one part of the industry exceed thatof the other, the margin which might serve to provideremunerative occupation for both being at present oftenunequally distributed, the over-producer taking the lowerposition. On the contrary, there is no doubt that theskill of the operative is more greatly developed whereone district takes up a specific branch of the sub-dividedlabour, and conducts it in a more fully equipped style,than would be the case were it to be attempted on asmall scale.

The known pre-eminence of Manchester as themarket town is attributed in part to the necessity forsome common centre where a meeting of the representativesof each of these industries could take place totransact the business of the trade. The Exchange ofCottonopolis is that centre. Here, every day of theweek, but more especially on the Tuesday and Fridaymarket days from all parts where the cotton trade isconducted, the spinner goes to meet the manufacturer,the manufacturer to meet the merchant, who in turnrepresents all countries to which our manufactures are[3]exported; and thus the Exchange has become, as itwere, the heart of the trade, for on it depends theprosperity of the whole industry, and a stoppage ordiminution of the business there paralyses the trade.

The movement of the cotton trade, like that ofcivilisation, has ever been westward. India is recognisedas having been from time immemorial its home, andalthough there cotton has probably been in use for agesas clothing, there is no evidence to show that the substancewas even known in Europe till the tenth, or thatits manufacture was commenced in England till the endof the sixteenth, century. At that time the weavers usedyarn made from “cotton wool,” as it was called, butwhich yarn was furnished by the Levant and only usedfor weft, linen forming the warp. However, the inventionof simple hand-spinning apparatus rendered it possiblefor the ever-increasing demand for cotton yarn to beadequately supplied for a time by English spinsters, andit is chronicled that, in 1701, 1,900,000lb. of raw cottonwere imported, although it is improbable that the wholeof it was required for conversion into cloth. At thebeginning of the eighteenth century such inventions as thatof Kay’s fly shuttle so increased the output of the handloom as to cause for some years a dearth of yarn.This had a good effect in inducing the great era of inventionin cotton-spinning machinery, from 1760 to 1780;during which time Hargreaves, Arkwright, Crompton,and many lesser lights brought before the world theresults of their labour. These inventions, the importanceof which it is not necessary to refer to—theirdetails and the story of their invention having been sofrequently dilated upon—these created the cotton manufacture.

The cause which influenced the development of spinningmachinery was antithetical to that which now causedan extension of the weaving, which was an excess ofthe supply of yarn, and for which the only consumerswere the loomshops attached to scattered houses on thecountry side, containing one or two ponderous hand-looms.


It is rather more than a century since the Rev.E. Cartwright, a Kentish minister, first gave his attentionto the invention of a power loom, and althoughhis first patent in 1785 was not satisfactory, yet it is tothis clergyman’s efforts that the world is indebted forthe first power loom. In 1787, he patented such amachine, fitted with spring motion, batten or slay,temples, etc., with the addition of a protector and weftstop motion in an imperfect form. Nine years afterwardsRobert Millar, of Glasgow, applied to it themeans of picking by plates and shedding by tappets orwipers.

Here all the principles of the modern loom werepresent, although in very different form, and it is onlyin details that the loom of a century later presents adifferent aspect. In 1834 the weft stop motion waspatented by Messrs. Ramsbottom and Holt, which wasperfected seven years later and patented in its presentform by Messrs. J. Bullough and Kenworthy, of Blackburn.To these gentlemen is due the invention of animproved dressing machine called a “tape,” the forerunnerof slashing; also the take-up motion for cloth.They, too, patented the loose reed loom and the

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