20334 - Flags - Silk Industry, So. Manchester, Conn., U.S.A.

In this picture we have a pile of flags which have been inspected carefully, as shown in the preceding view. These flags are now ready for the dressing machine. In fact, they will have to go through quite a few operations of additional cleaning in which the fibres will be further combed and straightened out, so that the threads will be ready finally for the spinning frame and then, at last, for the looms in the weaving rooms.

As we have already noted the filaments as spun by the silkworms have gone through a great number of processes before the silk gets into this state, known as "flags": likewise, even more processes will be required before the silk issues from the weaving looms as finished cloth. But, in addition to all this, we do not begin to realize how complicated and numerous are all the processes are necessary in the manufacture of silk goods until after the cloth comes out of the dyeing or printing rooms. Even then additional finishing processes are necessary, such as singeing off loose fibres, pressing out wrinkles, stretching, and others, with the result that one can safely say that a piece of goods is handled between fifty and a hundred times after it comes from the loom, sometimes even more than a hundred times.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.