20308--Frisons After Washing--Silk Industry (Spun Silk), So. Manchester, Conn., U.S.A.

The woman here is shown engaged in straightening out the frisons after they have gone through the boiling and drying processes. This work is necessary before the frisons are ready to be passed through the dressing machine, shown and described in the next view of this series.

With the preceding picture a detailed description is given as to how the raw waste from cocoons is cleaned by boiling and drying. Other operations are necessary in the cleaning of waste obtained from other sources. To remove the gum, the waste usually undergoes a process of maceration or fermentation. No hot soap solution is used, whereby a great saving of soap is effected. The waste is put into a large tank, and after being soaked with a weak soapy solution, steam is applied. The tank is kept closed for about two or three weeks while fermentation is going on. Samples are taken out of the tank from time to time so tests may be made and over fermentation avoided. Weakness of fibre, waste of substance and loss of lustre are the results of over-fermentation just as over-scouring would bring about the same injuries. The silk loses about one quarter of its weight by this ungumming process. While the waste is still warm it is passed through a hot water washing machine for a brief period of about five minutes and then through a cold water washing for a long period.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.