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Any word or meaning that you see in this web site that you would like explaining please drop me an Email Me. email, and I will include it here.

Most of the terms in this glossary refer to weaving terms in the textile industry, there are other terms here, and with your help I'm sure it will be gradually expanded.

Automatic Loom

A loom where the supply of weft is replenished automatically.

 

Backing off

Operation performed on completion of a draw in jenny or mule spinning in which the spindles are reversed to unwind the yarn form the spindle tips.

Barragon

A light corded cotton for summer wear.

Batter

A mixture of flour and water, sometimes with special ingredients, that the fish is dipped in before being thrown in the friar.

Beam

A cylinder or roller on to which a sheet of yarn or fabric is wound, e.g. warp beam or cloth beam.

Blowing

The process where cotton fibres are cleaned and smoothed in preparation for carding.

Broadcloth

The best plain-woven and dressed woollen cloth woven on a double width.

Camblet

Originally camel or goat hair textile.  Later of wool and hair, silk and hair, plain or twilled.

Calico

Cotton cloth with patterns printed in one or more colours; the name comes from Calicut, a port on the west coast of Malabar, south of Madras.

Card

A machine for disentangling and ranging cotton fibres.

Carding

The reduction of an entangled mass of fibres to a thin filmy web by working them between two closely spaced surfaces clothed with wire.

Carding Cylinder

The large cylinder on a carding engine, which carries out the carding of an entangled mass of fibres.

Charabanc

A day trip out in a vehicle which could carry many passengers.

Chintz

Printed or painted calico.

Cop

The conical ball of cotton or any yarn wound on the spinning frame.

Corduroy

An English word, although supposedly of French origin, for fustian with a corded pile.

Count (in textiles)

The measure of yarn by length and weight, stating how many hanks of a given length will weigh a pound.  The higher the count the finer the yarn.

Coutil

A French species of jean but lighter in weight; a twilled cloth.

Culvert

A transverse and totally enclosed drain under a road or railway.

Decimalisation

When every thing changed into units of 10. weights and measures as well as money were all converted into units of 10 as part of decimalisation.

Dab

Slice of potato dipped in batter and deep fried.

Denim

Originally a wool serge, later a twilled cotton used for work clothes.

Diaper

A linen, cotton or mixed fabric woven with a small raised diamond pattern.

Dimity

A stout white cotton fabric, plain or twilled with a raised pattern on one side, sometimes printed.

Doffing Cylinder

The smaller cylinder on the front of a carding engine, which removes the carded fibre from the carding cylinder.

Dowlas

A coarse, strong calico.

Drabbet

A drab, whitey-brown twilled linen or fustian, particularly used for smocks.

Drafting

Reducing the thickness of slivers, rovings etc. by increasing the weight per unit weight.

Draw

The part of the mule cycle of operations during which the spindles move away from the rollers and the fibres are drafted.

Drawer (in Coal Mining)

A person who moved coal carts in the mine.

Drawing (in Textiles)

Blending slivers and drafting them to form rovings.

 

Drugget

A coarse, woollen fabric, often with a linen or cotton warp, much used for floor and table coverings.

Duck

A strong, untwilled linen or cotton, lighter or finer than canvas, used for small sails and men’s outerwear.

Dyeing

Impregnating cloth with colouring substances.

Finishing

A collective noun used to describe the processes carried out to make woven cloth acceptable to the customer.

Finishing

A series of operations (including bleaching, dyeing and printing).

Fustian

A coarse, stout cotton, originally linen and by the eighteenth century a cotton/linen mixture.

Gable

the vertical triangular wall between the sloping ends of a gable roof, the last in the line of a row of houses, or a detached house which has no side roofs.

Gingham

A stout cloth with a woven chequered pattern, originally linen but later cotton.

Grey cloth

Unbleached cotton or linen cloth.

Grinding

Giving new points to the teeth of the carding wires by grinding with an emery board or wheel.

Heald or Heddle

A steel wire or strip with an eye in the centre, or a similar device through which a warp yarn is threaded.  During weaving the yarn’s movement can then be controlled.

Herringbone

A fustian with a woven pattern like the bone of a herring, that is in crossed parallel lines.

Jacquard loom

Loom fitted with harness consisting of cards, card cylinder, needles, hooks and cords, which control the warp in weaving.

Jean (Material)

A twilled cotton fustian, thick and strong, later a twilled sateen.

Jenny (Textiles)

Name given to Hargreaves’ spinning machine- a corruption of the word ‘engine’.

Lap

A thick sheet of fibres wrapped round a core, e.g. sheets of fibres wound on rollers after opening arid cleaning.

Linsey-woolsey

A coarse mixture of wool and linen.

Moleskin

A strong, soft, fine-piled cotton fustian, the surface of which is ‘shaved’ before dyeing.

Mule

Cotton spinning machine invented by Samuel Compton, so named because it combines the roller-drawing principle of Arkwright’s water frame with the carriage-drawing of Hargreaves’ jenny.

Muslin

A fine, thin, semi-transparent cotton.  Originally any cloth made from superfine cotton yarns.

Nankeen

A plain, closely woven cotton, yellowish or buff colour.

Outwork (or putting out system)

System of organising production where merchant manufacturers employ people to produce work at home.

Overlooker

A manager of a group of workers in a woollen or cotton mill. The name is also used for someone who maintains and tunes the looms.

The name tackler is used in Lancashire.

Pavior

Is a Stone Flag. There are also pavior machines for laying the flag.

Piece Goods

Fabrics sold by the piece (definite length).

Piecer

The operative who mends the broken ends of thread in the spinning process.

Pick

A weft thread.

Picking

Passing the weft through the warp shed during weaving.

Pillow

A plain fustian with a four-leaved twill.

Pinder

Person who catches stray animals

Printing (in Textiles)

Applying patterns to cloth using a block, roller or screen.

Rayon

This name was chosen in 1924 by the National Retail Dry Goods Association of America for the new manmade fabric from regenerated cellulose, also known as artificial silk.

Reed

A comb consisting of a number of closely set wires used to separate the warp threads; also used to beat each weft into the cloth.

Ring Frame

Spinning machine on which the spindle revolves within a ring.

Rolag

The loosely formed roll of carded fibre removed from hand cards.

Roving

A thin rope of lightly twisted parallel fibres from which the yarn is spun.

Sateen

A cotton textile with a satin face.

Scraps

These are the bits of batter that drip off the fish as it is being put in the pan. They are scooped out at regular intervals and put to one side. They used to be kept in a corner of the warmer, but these days they are usually thrown in a bucket ready for throwing away.

Scutching

See blowing.

Self-acting Mule

The mule frame that automatically performs drawing, twisting, winding on and copping motions.

Serge

A hard-wearing twilled material of worsted, or with the warp of worsted, the weft of linen.

Shed (in textiles)

The space between raised and lowered warp threads through which the shuttle passes during weaving.

Shirting

Common grey-cloth, woven 36-45 inches long and cut into piece lengths 36 yards long.

Shuttle

A boat shaped object, which carries the weft package across the loom.

Size

A gelatinous substance applied to warps prior to weaving.  The purpose of the size is to provide a protective coating and prevent damage to the yarns during weaving. Called SIZING.

Sliver

A thick, soft untwisted rope of fibre, which is the result of the carding process.

Spinning

A term used to cover the process of drafting and twisting fibres to produce a yarn.  The complete operation involves drawing out the roving, inserting the twist, and winding the spun yarn.

Stripping

Clearing cards of matted fibres.

Tackler

See Overlooker

Thickset

A stout, twilled cotton fustian with a short, very close nap.

Ticking

A strong, hard, linen or cotton canvas from which bed ticks were made.

Tithe Barn

From Sir Francis's death, in 1659, until the abolition of the tithe system in 1836, tithes were stored in the tithe barn. Dating from the Middle Ages, the tithes were a local tax in kind, collected for the parish church to support the incumbent cleric (a tenth of farm produce was gathered annually, the word "tithe" coming from the Old English teogotha, meaning tenth).

Throstle

A bobbin and fly spinning machine.

Turnpike Keeper

A collector of road tolls from when the people of England were charged for using the highways.

Twinter

Cows of more than two years old.

Velveteen

Imitation silk velvet, with a cotton fustian twill-weave backing and a cotton or silk pile.

Union (1)

A stout material, being a mixture of linen and cotton, much dressed and stiffened.

Union (2)

A group of people who have got together to speak as a united voice.

Upside Down Mixture

Chips and peas served with the peas on top of the chips.

Warp

The lengthways threads in a woven fabric which are usually more tightly twisted and stronger than weft threads.

Warping

Winding warp onto the beam.

Water frame

Arkwright’s spinning invention.

Weaving

Interlacing the warp and weft threads to provide a woven fabric.

Web

A wide, thin film of fibres produced by a carding engine.

Weft

The widthways threads in a woven fabric, which are usually softer and weaker than warp threads.

Winding

Making bobbins of yarn.

Yarn

A spun thread.

Any word or meaning that you see in this web site that you would like explaining please drop me an Email Me. email, and I will include it here.

References

Old occupations genealogy website