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We run our slashers very fast. We do the slashing for sixteen hundred looms on two slashers. We do not think we could afford to have another slasher, and we can get along very comfortably with two. But when some of these fellows that have been to see Mr. Brown come up to see us, and go into the mill with their sizing compounds and try to do our work by putting in it two-thirds the amount of starch, and only boiling the sizing fifteen or twenty minutes, or bringing it up to a boil without boiling it a long time, they find they have difficulty in drying the yarn, and we have to slow down the slasher. In our mill, before I had anything to do with it, we called a sizing man there, and he spoiled a lot of yarn; the yarn mildewed, because he run it on the beams, wet. He said he would pay for it, but never did. (Laughter.) That is all I have to say.
The PRESIDENT. Can you tell us how many pounds of yarn are used to a pound of starch in the goods you speak of?
Mr. WATTLES. I cannot tell you. We put on about four or five per cent. of sizing. When Mr. WINDSOR was running the mill, he wanted to know of me if I could get him something to put in the size that would allow him to put in another hundred looms without putting in another slasher. After some experiments, we came upon the method that has been used there ever since, and they have been adding three or four hundred extra looms, and have not put in another slasher.
Mr. KNIGHT. While I think generally dressine is a very good thing, we are going to put in another hundred looms, and I do not think it is necessary to continue the use of the dressine to dry the yarn. I think that the merit of dressine perhaps is that they have some sort of acid in it; and I know it keeps the rolls clean, and also keeps the cylinders clean. Then they put in something that has a tendency to dry the yarn, but I do not think it is absolutely necessary we should have it.
A MEMBER. Mr. Chairman, a gentleman came to me a short time ago about sizing called slashine, and he said that most of the mills in Fall River and New Bedford were using it with good success. I would like to hear from them.
Mr. Knight. There is one thing in this connection, that is,
, when these slashing-compound men come around, they all tell you that they will save you so much money on each batch of size that they make. I do not think you ought to stop there in
your calculations as to the cost. The better way, I think, will be to keep account of the number of pounds of yarn that is sized by them, and settle it up that way. Then you will find out what it costs ; rather than by the cost of a single batch of sizing
Mr. MESSENGER. Mr. President, while we are on this question, if Mr. BALCH of the Naumkeag Mills of Salem is here, I think he could interest us. He has had quite an experience, not only in sizing compounds, but with a so-called improved method of making size. It is an English invention sold by parties here in Boston, and I have been trying for the last six months to get out to go down and see him. It is a different process in cooking it. If he is here, I think he could give us some very interesting talk on sizing compounds.
(The President made inquiry, but Mr. Balch was not present.)
Mr. BROWN. Mr. President, haven't you had quite an experience with these various compounds?
The PRESIDENT. The question of Mr. Brown seems to bring me into the matter. We have used various compounds at various times, but we never have found any that we thought were advantageous. I think we could say, with Mr. Brown, that they never did us any harm ; at the same time, I should not want to say that that settles the matter, so far as sizing compounds go. There are different grades of goods made from what we make, and, while we may not need anything very elaborate in the way of sizing, there are mills that do. We do not need, for instance, to load our yarn very much with sizing; and I fancy that there are some compounds that would enable a person to do that with safety. I saw some goods a few days ago that were increased in weight more than fifty per cent. with some sort of compound; and, when goods are loaded to that extent, it is necessary to
introduce some antiseptic in the sizing in order to keep them from mildew and decay.
QUESTION. Made in this country?
The PRESIDENT. Yes, sir. The use of sizing compounds with us I do not think is of any importance whatever. We size as lightly as possible, using the potato starch unfermented, but cooked, as Mr. Knight says, completely. For No. 28 yarn we put about one pound on to twenty-five pounds of yarn. I do not think that would be enough for some kinds of weaving, but it is with us.
Mr. Brown. There is one statement that has been made that rather surprised me, that it would be well to use sizing on coarse goods, not on fine. Now, why it should be used on coarse and not on fine I do not quite understand.
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. President, I will give you my experience on that. In making fine goods out of fifty warp, sixty filling, for instance, one hundred and six picks to the inch, and ninety-six slaie, etc., I have never used any sizing compounds. I simply put in a little tallow and alum. I do not know that it would do any good, but in heavy goods I have used dressine, and it went all right, and so I have not changed. I do not know but it would go all right on fine yarns. Perhaps Mr. Kent will tell us what his experience has been.
Mr. KENT. I can only say this, we have tried the experiment, and we did not get the good results we did from starch or tallow, and did not weave as well; but Mr. Brown need not be afraid, if he wants to go into these experiments, of being hurt. I had some of these compounds analyzed, and they contained about seventy-five per cent. of water and fifteen per cent. of starch. The remainder is what they do not tell. There is another thing you want to guard against in using some of these compounds. There is a deposit left on the yarn which cuts the harness very badly, and there you will have expense come in which you do not want. We have been through that. I would like to add one more word in regard to what Mr. Knight said about putting in turpentine to prevent the foaming, and also the alum which he admits he put in. He does not know why, and I do not; but I had a little experience with some fine goods, and I thought I had got on to a pretty good thing. I bought some paraffine wax. We wished to make some very fine sateens, and we put this into the size, and it made the yarn slip over the harnesses very nicely; it moved splendidly. We thought we had got on to something then that was going to last; but the first thing I knew, we had a complaint from some of the parties who bought the goods that they would not take the dye, and wanted some one to come immediately to see what the trouble was. I started on the next train and went to the works, and they laid the goods before me, and I let them tell me the story; and I went home and took that paraffine wax out of that size and we have not had any trouble since.
Mr. Brown. Mr. President, history repeats itself. I never put any paraffine wax into size, but I gave a girl some paraffine wax, and she rubbed it on the yarn, and I got into trouble by it.
Mr. MESSENGER. I had a little experience of that kind, only I do not hold myself responsible for it. We had a lot of Turkey-red yarn for handkerchief borders. It was injured in the dyeing, and broke very badly in the weaving; there was a bitter complaint from the weavers about it at first, but this soon ceased, and I thought we had outgrown the trouble and that it had not been as bad as represented ; but suddenly there was a complaint from the bleachery about the red borders in the handkerchiefs; the color ran and damaged the goods. They sent me samples of the handkerchiefs which I took to our overseer, and he told me that the weavers were bringing in paraffine wax candles, and waxing those red border threads, to make them run without breaking continually.
Mr. H. L. PRATT. I would like to hear from some gentleman running colored yarn. We have had quite an experience with the various makes of sizing compounds. I had some of them analyzed. One of those that has been mentioned here today contained sixty per cent. of water, and when urged to try another lot of it I notified the parties that, Maine being a prohibition State, we did not need to import any water. We have settled down to the use of dressine, and find an actual gain in product by its use. It causes the size to penetrate better and leaves the yarn smooth and nice. We use potato starch and cook it thoroughly.
Mr. G. W. WEEKS. We have tried a great variety of sizing compounds, and have discarded them all for simple water, starch and tallow.
A MEMBER. We have used dressine and the Victoria on our work, - I must say the Victoria size, dressine, and tallow and starch and blue vitriol put into the size. I cannot see any difference in all three.
A MEMBER. I have had some little experience in handling size, and I find that what experience I have had conforms very largely to what has been expressed here; that is, that it is more important to have the base right. These ingredients
. that are added, if they do not do harm, very seldom, I think, do good, in certain classes of weaving. I believe myself that in colored work, such as Mr. PRATT spoke of, it is necessary to have some acid, something to assist in penetrating the thread with the size; but I believe that, if they can be mixed naturally without this being added too strongly, it is better. I think it is a good thing to take the starch and ferment it I know that is an old-fashioned idea, and a good many will say that is all nonsense ; but it is a matter of experience. I ran them side by side, the fermented and unfermented, and I find that the fermented size gives altogether the best results. You will notice one thing in the harness. If you use the unfermented size it leaves the harness dirty, and it will take a boy as long to clean one harness with unfermented size as a dozen with fermented.
Mr. KENT. I would like to ask the gentleman if the fer