20622--Reeling Silk. Mammoth Plant of the Mitsui Company, Maebashi, Japan.

The reeling of raw silk having been formerly carried on in Japan exclusively by hand as seen in view 14753, the product obtained was of a coarse kind unfit for the foreign market. The government therefore established a model filature or factory for the reeling of silk in order to encourage the improved method of machine reeling. The example thus set before them led those interested in the industry to start similar establishments on the factory system throughout the country. This view is one of the large modernly-equipped filatures. There are in Japan 321 filature establishments, surpassing in number the factories of other kinds, as cotton, tobacco, and hemp.

The reel to which the raw silk is led from the basin seen in view 20621 consists of a light six-armed frame, enclosed within a wooden casing. To keep the strands from directly overlaying each other and so adhering, the last guide through which the silk passes has a reciprocating motion whereby the fibre is distributed within certain limits over the reel.

It is the business of the girls seen in the view to care for the threads of silk, to see that none break, and if broken that the filament is joined and started around again. After a reel has received a given amount of fibre, according to length, it is removed and an empty one put in its place. The silk from the reel is twisted into skeins and is ready for the conditioning house as seen in the next view, No. 20623.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.