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to effect great changes in the weight of textile materials by simply storing them in damp or dry places. The direct application of water to these materials is a means of effecting even greater changes in the weight. Illustrations of these practices will occur at once to all of you. Mr. H. W. MACALISTER, of Manchester, Eng., tells of his seeing cotton presses in the South equipped with steam pipes “ for the express purpose of injecting steam into the bales.” On the other hand it is the common practice of Lancashire spinners to “damp” their yarn before weighing and invoicing it for shipment. The result is that water is sold in the former case at 10 cents a pound; in the latter case at 20 to 40 cents a pound, or even more. Nor is this practice of damping yarn confined to Lancashire. It is practiced on the Continent and in America. The accompanying drawing shows
a section of a device for saturating yarn with water in the spooling process, and which is in use in some of the leading mills making yarn for sale in the United States. A corrugated brass roller running in a trough containing water is situated half way between the rollers and yarn guide. The yarn passes over this wet roller and absorbs a large quantity of water just before it is wound solidly on the spool.
The artificial, like the natural moistening of textile material is confined to no particular country or branch of the industry. It is firmly established as a natural and artificial factor in the textile trade and this is what makes it necessary for every person who buys or sells textile materials to protect himself against loss by adopting a reliable method of testing or conditioning all the material bought or sold.
PERCENTAGE OF MATERIALS IN COST OF PRODUCT.
Having, I trust, established the relevance and importance of the subject of textile tests, I propose to glance at its business aspects and to illustrate its vital importance as a factor in the manufacturer's calculations and still more so in his balance sheet. Much attention has been given, both by the manufacturers and their advisers, to economies resulting from improved factory systems, saving in fuel, utilization of waste and other up-to-date methods. Yet the average aggregate expenditure of a textile manufacturer outside of the cost of material, only represents about one third of the cost of production. This is not a mere estimate, but it is the actual result shown by the census returns of 1905, according to which our aggregate textile product for that year represented $1,215,000,000 and the aggregate cost of production $1,114,000,000. The latter figure was composed as follows: —
While the average cost of textile materials thus represented 67 per cent. of the cost of the product, the proportions of the separate items were:
Grouping the purchases of raw materials more or less intimately connected with the work of our membership, we are spending on cotton, wool, flax, and jute approaching a billion dollars a year without any organized system of testing; the silk industry (where the average proportion of material to total cost is only 63 per cent. as compared with 68 per cent. for cotton goods) being practically the only branch of textile manufacturing in which conditioning has been generally adopted, although augmented interest, in the shape of tests, is being constantly manifested in the subject by other branches of manufacture, as our daily records demonstrate. This is largely due to the attention given to the subject in the textile press both at home and abroad. One Austrian textile paper lately published a full translation of an article in the Textile World Record on the subject of conditioning, written by Mr. S. S. DALE, who has for years advocated the general adoption of conditioning by American manufacturers.
COST OF MATERIALS TO SMALLER MANUFACTURERS
While the 68 per cent. proportion of cost of materials to that of their product, shows the importance of conditioning to manufacturers of cotton goods, this percentage when investigated represents for the $422,000,000 of cost, (corresponding with $450,000,000 value of product), a total outlay for materials of $286,000,000, including $222,000,000 of the principal articles purchased in the raw state and $34,000,000 in the semi-manufactured state, or in the form of yarns. Owing to the higher cost of the latter in proportion to the total manufacturing cost, it would seem that manufacturers who buy their yarns are probably paying out for that purpose at least 75 per cent. of their outlay for material. While the above figures apply to the general production of cotton goods (other than knit goods), in the case of cotton smallwares conditions are reversed. Out of a total cost of materials in the latter industry amounting to three and one-half million dollars, over ninety per cent. represents those purchased in a semi-manufactured state. Of the latter proportion over ninety-three per cent, was cotton yarn. These returns emphasize the importance of conditioning to the smallwares industry, in which Rhode Island leads as to value of product.
Here is a clear saving of 5 per cent for the manufacturer as the result of conditioning. What better proof can be given of its value?
The system adopted at the Manchester Testing House is practically the same as ours, as may be seen from the following specimen of the certificate issued by the former establishment:
While the question of testing raw materials presents the difficulty of drawing samples in such a way as to accurately represent the bulk, the same cannot be said of yarns, where a bundle or even a smaller quantity can be tested, after being forwarded to the conditioning house in an air-tight receptacle with note of weight at time of despatch. The relatively higher value of yarns, moreover, permits of expense being incurred for tests, particularly of the finer counts. As an instance of the practical value of yarn tests, it is worthy of note that the yarn contract rules adopted in 1896 at the Manchester Yarn Contract Conference, included the following clause:
“Rule 5. In case of dispute as to counts, length, weight, or condition, the yarn shall be tested by and according to the rules of the Manchester Testing House, and its certificates shall be binding on both parties, who, however, shall have the right to be represented when the samples are drawn.”
In Austria the co-operation of one of the official conditioning houses with the Court of Arbitration in the settlement of disputes as to yarn, is provided for under the rules of the Vienna Cotton Exchange. The French spinners in their demand for the establishment of conditioning houses in connection with the principal cotton exchanges, urged the merits of the system as applied to yarns at various European textile centers, thus indirectly proving its advantages.