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Clothing Process (Grade 8)

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Wool comes into the market in the following condition. 1. In the grease, not having been washed and containing all the impurities. 2. Washed, with some of the grease removed and fairly clean. 3. Scoured, thoroughly cleaned and all grease removed.

Wool can be dyed either in the fleece, in the yarn, or in the woven cloth. Raw wool always contains a certain amount of natural grease. This should not be washed out until it is ready for dyeing, as the grease keeps the moth out to a considerable extent. Hand spun wool is generally spun in the oil to facilitate spinning. All grease and oil must be scoured out before dyeing is begun, and this must be done very thoroughly or the wool will not take the colour.


A constant supply of clean soft water is an absolute necessity for the dyer. Rain water should be collected as much as possible, as this is the best water to use. The dye house should be by a river or stream, so that the dyer can wash with a continuous supply. Spring and well water is, as a rule, hard, and should be avoided. In washing, as well as in dyeing, hard water is injurious for wool. It ruins the brilliancy of the colour, and prevents the dyeing of some colours. Temporary hardness can be overcome by boiling the water (20 to 30 minutes) before using. An old method of purifying water, which is still used by some silk and wool scourers, is to boil the water with a little soap, skimming off the surface as it boils. In many cases it is sufficient to add a little acetic acid to the water.


In a bath containing 10 gallons of warm water add 4 fluid ounces of ammonia fort, .880, 1 lb. soda, and 2 oz. soft soap, (potash soap). Stir well until all is dissolved. Dip the wool in[Pg 3] and leave for 2 minutes, then squeeze gently and wash in warm water until quite clear.

Or to 10 gallons of water add 6 oz. ammonia and 3 oz. soft soap. The water should never be above 140°F. and all the washing water should be of about the same temperature.

Fleece may be washed in the same way, but great care should be taken not to felt the wool—the less squeezing the better.

There are four principal methods of dyeing wool.

1st.—The wool is boiled first with the mordant and then in a fresh bath with the dye.

2nd.—The wool is boiled first with the dye, and when it has absorbed as much of the colour as possible the mordant is added to the same bath, thus fixing the colour.

A separate bath can be used for each of these processes, in which case each bath can be replenished and used again for a fresh lot of wool.

3rd.—The wool is boiled with the mordant and dye in the same bath together. The colour, as a rule, is not so fast and good as with a separate bath, though with some dyes a brighter colour is obtained.

4th.—The wool is mordanted, then dyed, then mordanted again. This method is adopted to ensure an extremely fast colour. The mordant should be used rather sparingly.
After reading the passage on washing and dyeing wool, it is your job to write a passage in a similar style. Explain a process related to clothing using the same style of this passage.

Write your topic and a brief outline below.

This passage uses words liked mordanted to help get in key words related to the topic.

What are some of the key words related to this topic that you want to include in your text?

Write your description of a process related to clothing in a style similar to the passage on washing and dyeing. Be sure to include relevant vocabulary and specific examples.

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