20331--Vats for Dyeing Cloth in the Piece--Silk Industry,
So. Manchester, Conn., U.S.A.

In this picture we get a partial view of the piece-dyeing room of the Cheney Bros. factory. The vats are filled with dyes and the cloth is run through them over the reel in the center. The cloth is then compared with the sample and if the color is not right, colors are added to the dye until the right shade is reached. Silks of various widths are shown on the reels over the vats here visible, On the second reel to the right is seen silk of ribbon widths going through the dye vats.

All silk goods, whether yarn dyed, piece dyed, or printed, are given some kind of finish; sometimes it is no more than is necessary to smooth out the wrinkles. But there are a great many processes by which goods may be treated. They are run through gas flames to singe off loose fibres; over steam rollers to dry and straighten them; over a great variety of sizing machines to stiffen them with starch or glue; through calenders or heavy rolls to smooth and iron them; or the goods may pass through steam presses of great power to press them out; through breaking and rubbing machines to soften them; or through tentering machines to stretch them to uniform width. After goods are finished they are carefully inspected for imperfections, measured and wrapped in paper. They are then packed in cases and are finally ready for shipment.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.

For pictures and contemporary information on the Dye House in the
"Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District" page, click here.