Online Encyclopedia

MATTING

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 902 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MATTING, a general term embracing many coarse woven or plaited fibrous materials used for covering floors or furniture, for hanging as screens, for wrapping up heavy merchandise and for other miscellaneous purposes. In the United Kingdom, under the name of " coir " matting, a large amount of a coarse kind of carpet is made from coco-nut fibre; and the same material, as well as strips of cane, Manila hemp, various grasses and rushes, is largely employed in various forms for making door mats. Large quantities of the coco-nut fibre are woven in heavy looms, then cut up into various sizes, and finally bound round the edges by a kind of rope made from the same material. The mats may be of one colour only, or they may be made of different colours and in different designs. Sometimes the names of institutions are introduced into the mats. Another type of mat is made exclusively from the above-mentioned rope by arranging alternate layers in sinuous and straight paths, and then stitching the parts together. It is also largely used for the outer covering of ships' fenders. Perforated and otherwise prepared rubber, as well as wire-woven material, are also largely utilized for door and floor mats. Matting of various kinds is very extensively employed throughout India for floor coverings, the bottoms of bedsteads, fans and fly-flaps, &c.; and a considerable export trade in such manufactures is carried on. The materials used are numerous; but the principal substances are straw, the bulrushes Typha elephantina and T. angustifolia, leaves of the date palm (Phoenix sylvestris), of the dwarf palm (Chamaerops Ritchiana), of the Palmyra palm (Borassus flabelliformis), of the coco-nut palm (Cocos nucifera)andof the screw pine (Pandanus 'odoratissimus), the munja or munj grass (Saccharum Munja) and allied grasses, and the mat grasses Cyperus textilis and C. Pangorei, from the last of which the well-known Palghat mats of the Madras Presidency are made. Many of these Indian grass-mats are admirable examples of elegant design, and the colour's in which they are woven are rich, harmonious and effective in the highest degree. Several -useful household articles are made from the different kinds of grasses. The grasses are dyed in all shades and plaited to form attractive designs suitable for the purposes to which they are to be applied. This class of work obtains in India, Japan and other Eastern countries. Vast quantities of coarse matting used for packing furniture, heavy and coarse goods, flax and other plants, &c., are made in Russia from the bast or inner bark of the lime tree. This industry centres in the great forest governments of Viatka, Nizhniy-Novgorod, Kostroma, Kazan, Perm and Simbirsk.
End of Article: MATTING
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