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The PRESIDENT. Has anyone any comments to make upon this paper? If not, we will proceed to the next on the program. The next paper is by a gentleman who has been long connected with the wholesale trade in fabrics and through his ancestors on the French side, as I understand it, was largely interested in the conditioning process which he has undertaken to develop in New York City, first in connection with the silk industry and later in that of cotton. I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. ROBERT J. HOGUET of New York.
CONDITIONING COTTON YARNS.
ROBERT J. HOGUET, 138 Spring Street, New York City.
Permit me in the first place, to express my appreciation of the opportunity afforded me, of placing before you some facts affecting the question of the application to textiles in general, of conditioning and other tests, on the plan long adopted in Europe and which for many years has been carried out here as to silk, both in the raw and thrown (or spun) state.
Such tests are of three kinds, those of the raw material, of the yarn, and of the finished product. While they comprise the determination of count, twist, elasticity, strength and other qualities, their principal object is the accurate establishment of the total quantity of moisture in the raw and semi-manufactured material, or in other words, to ascertain the absolute dry weight. To such weight is then added the normal percentage of moisture established by custom, the result obtained being the “conditioned weight” or correct weight of the article. The absolute dry weight of the contents of a bale is a constant and unchanged quantity, (as long as no portion has been removed) in the same way as the weight of a railroad car as marked, on being deducted from the gross, shows the net weight of the contents. The actual weight of a bale naturally varies according to atmospheric or other influences, but its dry weight remains the same.
TESTING RAW MATERIALS.
In ascertaining the absolute dry weight of raw material in the unmanufactured state, the principal difficulty is to draw such samples as may properly represent the bulk. On this point a
valuable report was presented at the April, 1907 meeting of this Association by the committee on Moisture in Baled Cotton, signed by our president, Mr. W. D. HARTSHORNE, Chairman, Mr. C. P. BROOKS, and Mr. L. A. OLNEY. The chairman had already in September, 1905, read an interesting paper at the Atlantic City convention, on Comparative Data on Moisture in Cotton and Worsted, recording the results of experiments made under his direction, while the general question of moisture in textiles was ably treated at the convention of September, 1906, by our ex-president, Mr. J. R. MACCOLL, who expressed himself as follows:
“Excessive damp in cotton, with inadequate allowance when discovered, is a grievance which European spinners complain bitterly of. It is possible that in this country we have not given sufficient attention to this and that a large unseen loss is occurring in many mills. ... Our Association could do good service by instituting a series of tests to determine the practicability of establishing this as an exact standard for buying cotton. Those of us who are woolen manufacturers know how essential it is to watch closely the moisture in raw material and finished product."
The report of the committee on Moisture in Baled Cotton, to which I have already referred, and with which you are familiar, recorded the fact that experiments made on 22 bales resulted in an excess of moisture beyond the normal 872 per cent. having been found, in quantities varying from half a pound to 40 pounds 8 ounces per bale. The processes for establishing the absolute dry weight and the conditioned weight were exactly those which our Works employ. Whenever the industry calls on us for such tests they can be promptly and accurately furnished.
Whether or not such a fact might justify a claim on the seller, every mill owner should know how much water in excess of the normal percentage, he is buying at the price of silk, cotton, wool, or other textile. Custom has established 11 per cent. for silk, 872 per cent. for cotton, 12 per cent. for flax and hemp, 12%2 per cent. for tow yarn, 1374 per cent. for jute, and for woo
at various stages from 16 to 19 per cent. Any excess of moisture beyond these rates implies loss for the buyer and gain for some one else.
Manchester spinners have been urging the adoption for raw cotton of moisture tests on the same principle as those of wood pulp, conducted at the Manchester Testing House. From recent experiments we have found our methods as to the latter class of tests uniform with those of Manchester, and hence undoubtedly applicable to raw cotton. At what point conditioning should take place, whether at time of packing, at time of sale, or at its final destination, and whether generally or only in cases of complaint are points for consideration and discussion.
Established standards for moisture in textile materials are as important for both buyer and seller as are established standards for money or for weights and measures. A variation in the quantity of water in a lot of raw material or yarn has the same effect on the buyer's and seller's bank accounts as an alteration in the size of the pound or in the number of cents in a dollar would have. The buyer and seller are protected against loss by a variation in the standards of value, weight or measure. Conditioning, or the testing of textile materials, is needed to complete this protection to those who trade in those staples. The amount of moisture in textile materials is constantly varying by natural evaporation and absorption from the air and by the application of water at the different stages in the process of manufacture. The natural variation extends over wide limits, as is shown by the following extract from a report of tests of worsted yarn by President HARTSHORNE of this Association:
“ The great variations in the weight of this skein of yarn were remarkable. The moisture it contained ranged from a little over 7 per cent. to as high as 35 per cent., often with a variation of from 15 to 20 per cent. in twenty-four hours."
This capacity to absorb and throw off water makes it possible