Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Bright wools.-Are raised in all the States from the Mississippi to the Atlantic with some slight local exceptions of territory which has been newly brought under cultivation and where the pasturage has not yet been brought to the thick, solid sward which generally characterizes the older settled regions. The wool is of a bright yellow color, the earthy matter not being sufficient to perceptibly modify the color. The western boundary for "bright wools" is gradually moving farther westward. Parts of Missouri and Iowa now furnish considerable, and occasional clips from States farther west show the improvement arising from cultivated pasturage and withdrawal of flocks from the wild range during the dry, dusty season.

The washed wool is almost entirely confined to bright wools raised east of the Mississippi. Not over one-fourth of the total bright wool clip is now washed before shearing. The practice of washing the sheep in the middle Western States is almost abandoned, excepting in the northern counties of Illinois and the southeastern counties of Wisconsin. About one-half of the wool from Michigan and other States farther east, including Ohio, still comes to market as washed wool.

The bulk of fairly bright wool and Western wools is sent to market unwashed, just as shorn from the sheep, except from the far Western States and Territories, more especially from the Pacific coast. The proportion being scoured before sending to eastern markets is increasing from year to year. It is estimated that nearly half the clip of the Pacific coast, amounting to over 30,000,000 pounds, was scoured the past year before being shipped to market. A large saving is thus made in the item of transportation, as the average shrinkage of these wools in the process of scouring would not be less than 60 per cent. The character of the wools, even under the general classification above noted, varies much with climate, soil, &c., which necessitates subdivisions, putting the wool from States and Territories having similar characteristics, well known to experts, in groups or subclasses, although this subclassification is by no means arbitrary, more than is the actual breed of the sheep in determining the grade. The Western wools we group as follows:

Kansas and Nebraska.-Better character than wools raised farther west and southwest; some of it fairly bright.

Nevada, Oregon, Washington Territory, Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho.— Standard Territory wools running from [X] to coarse, but with little intermixture of the Mexican blood apparent.

Colorado and Arizona merino, inbred largely with Mexican sheep, the words "improved," "partly improved," and "native," showing the degree of improvements, if any.

New Mexico.-More native, coarse carpet wools, but "improved" in some sections.

Montana.-These wools stand at the head of Territory wools. The soil, climate, and parentage combine to produce wool of the best char

acter possible on wild land. In addition, the sheep husbandry of the Territory has been developed from the beginning by men of more than ordinary intelligence, and usually with ample capital to carry on the business with such system as to obtain the best results. Valley Oregon and the best Utah wools resemble them closely.

Texas.-These wools vary in quality, character, and condition from the coarse Mexican and partly improved on the southern border, to the finest and deepest grown merino; from red, sandy wool bearing the heaviest shrinkage, to bright wools almost equal to the best unwashed Michigan and Ohio. In some parts of the State the wool is shorn twice a year, as is the case on the Pacific slope; hence the terms "spring clip," "fall clip," "twelve months wool," &c., as applied to Texas and California wools.

The character of wool refers to the length of fiber, the strength, the elasticity, the luster, felting properties, &c. The character of the wool is largely determined by soil, climate, and the care given the flocks. Alkaline soil, an unfavorable climate, insufficient food, and neglect would result in an absolute change of the character of the wool.

Felting wools.-The felting properties of different wools depend on the rough serrations on the face of the fiber, which give them the power of adherence one to another, in cloth, under the process of fulling; in hats, by felting machines, which reduce the wool to a solid mass of felt without any previous process of fabrication. These properties vary, the finer wools being generally best adapted to felting and clothing purposes.

Combing and delaine.-Wools suitable for the manufacture of worsted goods. For such goods the wool is first combed instead of carded, before being spun into yarn. Combing draws the fibers parallel to each other, and, in this form, twists into a smooth, hard, lustrous yarn, with few ends of the fiber appearing on the surface, as compared with the clothing yarns which are made from carded wool. "Combing and delaine" wools require long, strong staple, of even strength throughout, and for the best worsted goods it should be of bright lustrous color. Clothing wools embrace the whole list of short staple wools not suited to delaine and combing uses.

DEFINITIONS OF WOOL AS KNOWN IN

AGO MARKET.

(To the courtesy of Mr. Charles S. Fellows, assistant secretary of the Board of Trade of Chicago, we are indebted for the following definitions of the commercial terms known to the Chicago wool market:)

Medium.-Refers to fineness of staple-neither the finest nor coarsest. XXX.-The finest quality generally quoted.

Ohio and Pennsylvania No. 1 fleece.-Washed fleeces, raised in States named, medium in quality.

Ohio and Pennsylvania X and above.-Fine wools from the States named.

Ohio and Pennsylvania XX and above.-Finer than above,

Michigan X.-Fine Merino, from the State named N. B.-State always refers to place of production.

Michigan No. 1.-Medium quality; quotations for washed fleeces if not otherwise stated.

New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont X.-Fine Merino.

New York and New Hampshire No. 1.-Medium.

Combing, Kentucky blood.-Fine medium in quality. Staple long, strong, lustrous-suitable for combing purposes.

Combing, Kentucky blood.-Same as above-a grade coarser. Combing, Indiana and Missouri blood.-Same as above, except States in which produced, and corresponding difference in character. Combing, Indiana and Missouri & blood.-One grade finer than above. Combing, No. 1 Ohio.-Medium combing from said State. Combing, No. 2 Ohio.-Low medium from said State.

Combing, No. 1 Michigan.—Medium combing from Michigan.

Delaine, Ohio.-Wool from Ohio of long staple, fit for the manufacture of delaine goods; properties like combing, but wool finer.

Delaine, Michigan fine.-From Michigan, same as above.
Montana fine.-Fine Montana wool.

Montana fine medium.-Same as above, grade coarser.
Montana medium.-Grade below fine medium.
Wyoming and Colorado fine.-From region named.

Wyoming and Colorado fine medium.-From region named.
Wyoming and Colorado medium.—From region named.
Georgia.-Wools raised in Georgia peculiar to that State.
Kentucky clothing,

blood.-Clothing is of shorter staple, too short or

too weak for combing purposes.

(a) Texas spring medium, 12 months.-Refers to time of shearing. Some shear twice a year, hence 12 months, 8 months, &c., refer to time since last previously shorn.

Texas spring, fine.-Shorn in the spring.

Texas spring, fine quality, 6 to 8 months.-Answered in (a).

Texas spring, medium quality, 6 to 8 months-Answered in (a).

Texas fall, fine quality.-Shorn in the fall.

Texas fall, medium quality.—Shorn in the fall.

Kansas and Nebraska carpet.-Very coarse, hairy wool, fit for manufacture of carpets, horse blankets, and other coarse goods.

Unwashed fine Ohio and Michigan.-Not washed on sheep before they are shorn.

Unmerchantable Ohio and Pennsylvania.-Partly washed, or otherwise unfit to go into merchantable piles or grades.

Unmerchantable Michigan.-Same as above.

Super pulled, Maine.-Medium from pelts in the State of Maine
Super medium.-Refers to quality of pulled wool.

Super A.-Refers to quality of pulled wool.

Super Western.-Refers to quality pulled in the West or from Western skins.

Extra pulled.-Finer than super.

California spring.--(See answers to "Texas" marked "(a)" and what follows).

California southern.-(Where raised) Free, not cotted, free from burrs or other foreign matter.

California southern, defective.-Poor staple, or otherwise unfit to be classed as free.

California fall.—(See Texas ("a”).)

Oregon east.-Where raised.

Oregon east, fancy.-Above average in character or condition.

Oregon fine valley; Oregon medium valley.-Raised west of mountains in Oregon.

Australian crossbred.--Coarser by inbreeding coarse English flocks with Merino.

Montevideo.-South American port from which the wools are exported.

HISTORY OF THE CONDITION, GROWTH, AND PROGRESS OF SHEEPRAISING, WOOL-GROWING, AND WOOLEN MANUFACTURE IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES AND IN THE UNITED STATES.

(For much of the information presented in the following paper, we are indebted to Mr. Harold Snowden, of Alexandria, Va.)

ANTIQUITY OF SHEEP, WOOL, AND GARMENTS OF WOOL.

According to the New American Cyclopedia it appears that the rearing of sheep dates from the earliest times. The passages in the Bible alluding to sheep, wool, and woolen garments are well known, and it is a noticeable fact that distinct mention of the last two of these begins at a period much later than that in connection with which the first is named. In Leviticus, xiii, mention is made of garments having "the warp or woof of linen, or of woolen"; and these two materials appear to have been the staples of the primitive weavers of Syria, Palestine, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Pindar applies to Libya the epithet "flockabounding." Attic wool was celebrated from an extremely early period, and at least down to the time of the Latin poet Laberius, in the first century before the Christian era; and the woolen fabrics of both Greece and Italy attained special excellence. Strabo, however, living in the first century of our era, remarks that the fine cloths worn by the Romans in his time were manufactured from wool brought from Spain. Pliny, himself a governor of Spain, dèscribes several fine-wooled varieties of sheep as having long been reared in that country. In view of these facts, further doubt is thrown upon the two attempts to account for the origin of the Merino sheep, neither of which in itself appears to wear the stamp of consistency.

At all events, when the Merinos of Spain first attracted the obser vation of other nations, they were found in nearly all parts of the country, and mainly in very large permanent flocks, which in separate

districts appeared as different varieties; while so special were the management and lines of breeding, that the several flocks often constituted so many subvarieties. The flocks were of two general sorts, the traveling (transhumantes) and stationary (estantes). They were chiefly owned by the king and some of the nobles and clergy; and such was the importance attached to the products of these flocks, that the cultivators of vineyards and arable lands were by law required to leave broad roads through their estates for the passage of the flocks from the southerly to the northerly provinces in spring and their return in autumn, or for such other migrations as their owners might desire; and, in fact, all other agricultural interests were sacrificed to the convenience of their proprietors."

The myth of "The Golden Fleece," and the perilous adventures of the Argonauts attending its capture at the jaws of the fiery dragon, appear now to have been prophetic of the almost fabulous wealth which has attended the pursuit and capture of the rich-coated ram of the nineteenth century, and show that even prior to the days of Homer and Hesiod the golden qualities of the fleece of the ram were well known to the ancients.

The Romans brought with them to England at the time of their conquest of that country a knowledge of the use and manufacture of wool hitherto unknown there. Rude and imperfect as this knowledge was, it formed the basis of an industry which soon became the most valua ble of all her industries, and as such it was guarded with jealous care until early in the nineteenth century, when English wool manufactures had attained such perfection that she threw down her woolen gauntlet and proclaimed free wool and free woolens to the world.

As early as the year 1261 England, by statute, prohibited the export from her borders of raw wool or the wearing within her borders of any foreign woolens, and from time to time afterwards she amended this prohibitory statute, and always in the direction of more stringent prohibition, until the year 1660, when she perfected it in that respect. This latter statute remained in force until 1824, except that in 1802 raw wool had for the first time to submit to a tariff of 6d. per pound. In 1824 she reduced the tariff on woolen goods from 6d. per pound to 1d. per pound and admitted raw wool free.

In the year 1331 the first great impulse was given in England to woolen manufactures by the importation by Edward III. of Flemish weavers, considered then the most expert weavers of Europe. Under their supervision the first blankets were manufactured in England in 1340.

The first record of any attempt to dye woolen cloths in England was in 1608; and six years later, in 1614, mixed yarns, "dyed in the wool,” were first introduced in manufactures.*

*Dyed woolen cloths did not hold their colors as well as those cloths made from yarns previously dyed; hence, arose the now popular expression "Dyed in the wool," denoting deep convictions and unvarying opinions.

5402 W- -3

« AnteriorContinuar »