See also:matting " or " felting " together of fibrous materials such as wools, hairs, furs, &c . Most textile
See also:fibres (see FIBRES) possess the quality of matting to some extent, but wools, furs and some few hairs are the only fibres which can be felted satisfactorily . It is probable that the quality of felting must be attributed to the scale structure and waviness of the wools, furs and hairs referred to . When it is desired to incorporate non-felting fibres in
See also:felt cloths, wool must be employed to " carry " them . There are two distinct classes of felts, viz.
See also:woven or "
See also:thread-structure " felts, and " fibre " or true felts . In the manufacture of thread-structure felts, wools possessing the quality of felting in a high degree are naturally selected, carefully scoured so that the felting quality is not seriously damaged, spun into woollen
See also:yarn possessing the necessary fibre arrangement and twist, woven into
See also:cloth of such a character that subsequently satisfactory shrinking or felting may be effected, and finally scoured, milled in the
See also:stocks of machine of both, dyed and finished on the lines of an ordinary woven fabric . The lighter styles of woven felts may be composed of a single cloth only, but for the heavier styles two or more cloths are woven, one on top of the other, at one and the same
See also:time, arrangements being made to stitch the cloths together during the
See also:weaving operation . Fibre felts are exceedingly interesting from the
See also:historical point of view . It is now generally admitted that the
See also:art of weaving preceded that of
See also:spinning, and it must further be
See also:con-ceded that the art of felting preceded that of weaving, so that the felt fabric is probably one of the
See also:oldest of the various styles of recognized fabrics . The inhabitants of the
See also:middle and
See also:northern regions of
See also:Asia seem to have employed felt from time immemorial, as clothing and also as a covering for their habitations . Most of the classical writers refer to it and some of them actually describe its manufacture . Felt was also largely employed by the ancients for their hats,
See also:outer garments, and sometimes as a
See also:species of
See also:armour .
Fibre felts may be divided into three classes, viz. ordinary felts;
See also:hat felts; and impregnated felts . As all felts are based upon the ordinary felt, the
See also:process of manufacture of this will first be described . Of the wools employed the
See also:principal are: East
See also:Indian, German or
See also:European, New Zealand crossbreds, and Australian, Cape and Buenos Aires merinos .
See also:Vegetable fibres and
See also:silk are also employed, but wool must be used to " carry " them; thus a
See also:good felting wool may be made to carry its own
See also:weight of
See also:hemp, &c . Hairs and furs are principally used in the hat felts . The
See also:average loss upon the wool from the raw state to the finished felt is 40 to 50% . The
See also:order of the manufacturing processes is as follows:—mixing, willowing, teasing, scribbling and
See also:carding . It is interesting to note that it is not usual to scour felting wools . This is not because they are really clean—some are dirty—but because the felting
See also:property is liable to be interfered with in the scouring operation . Some wools, however, must be scoured to ensure satisfactory working in the
See also:machines . From the card the wool is delivered as a
See also:gossamer-like film from 50 to 6o in. wide on to an endless
See also:sheet from 30 to 6o yds. long, upon which the felt is built up film upon film until the required thickness—perhaps 4 in.— is obtained . To harden this somewhat
See also:tender sheet of felt it is now passed through an ironing process, effected by either steamheated-rollers—to which a rotatory and vibratory motion is given —playing upon the continually
See also:drawn-through cloth; or a huge vibrating
See also:flat-iron, to which the cloth is automatically fed, held in position and then
See also:wound up while the following length to be treated is drawn under the iron .
Soaping, fulling or " felting " and the ordinary
See also:finishing operations—including dyeing and printing if desirable—now follow, so that ultimately a strong
See also:firm fabric is turned out . It must be admitted, however, that the strength is much greater lengthwise than
See also:cross-wise, owing to the parallelization of the fibres induced in the scribbling and carding operations . Of course, the true felting or contraction occurs in the fulling or felting stock, the fabric being perpetually " hammered " in the presence of fulling agents such as
See also:earth, &c., for a considerable time . The reduction in width, length and thickness is remarkable . This may be con-trolled within certain limits . The principal styles of ordinary fibre-felts are—linings for coats, furniture.and
See also:rubber shoes;
See also:saddlery; seatings for carriages and pews; carpets, surrounds and under-felts for carpets; mantles, dresses and table-cloths; felt-slippers;
See also:mattress felts; chest-preservers, and
See also:shoulder-pads; steam-engine packing, motor-
See also:car and
See also:anti-vibration felts,
See also:shipbuilding felts;
See also:roller felts and
See also:wad felts . Hat felts may be divided into two classes, viz. those made from wool and fur respectively . Wool "bodies" used for the
See also:lower quality hats are manufactured in the same way as ordinary felts, but the " shape " upon which the film issuing from the carder is built up takes the
See also:form of a
See also:cone and thus approximates to the shape of the two hats ultimately formed . The shape is further controlled and
See also:developed in the fulling or felting operation . In the fur hat felts an air-blast is employed to carry the finely separated fibres on to the shape required, upon which shape the fibres are held in position by suction until the required thickness is obtained . The structure is then further developed and " stiffened," i.e. impregnated with certain stiffening agents according to requirements . If desirable the exterior fibres blown on to any shape may be of a different material from the
See also:body fabric .
Impregnated felts are simply felts made in the ordinary waybut subsequently impregnated with certain agents which give a
See also:special quality to the fabric . Messrs McNeill & Co., of
See also:London, were the originators of " asphalted-felt " for roofing and, among other styles, place on the market sheathing felt, inodorous felt, dry hair felt, foundation felt, &c., &c . A later development, however, is the impregnated iron-felt manufactured by Messrs Mitchells, Ashworth, Stansfield & Co., of Waterfoot, near Manchester, who not only produce from 70 to 8o % of the ordinary felts manufactured in
See also:Great Britain, but also place on the market several specialties of which this " iron-felt " is largely used in the construction of bridges, &c., and as a substitute for rubber, it being apparently more durable . (A . F .
FELSTED, or FELSTEAD
FELTHAM, or FELLTHAM, OWEN (d. 1668)
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