Glossary of Woolen Terms
(terms in italics are defined in separate entries):

card web: the carding cylinder output wool untangled and combed into a thin sheet.

roving: card web output in woolen manufacture, mechanically divided and loosely twisted into long narrow strands.

card sliver: card web output in worsted manufacture, a single bundled rope of fibers.

gilling: combing process in worsted manufacture that removes short fibers from the card sliver.

noils: short fibers that the gilling process removes.

top: long fibers remaining in an untwisted, roped sliver after the gilling process.

Schedule K: the portion of the tariff regulation that sets the rates applied to various classes of fibers.

Compensating duty: given an internal tax on wool, an equal tax should be put on imported woolens known as the compensating duty. (Otherwise the importer would be given an advantage, and would undersell the domestic producer.) The wool and woolens tariff act of 1867, which incorporated the compensating duty, remained in operation without essential changes (except for the years 1894-97) until 1913. The kind of wool most largely used in the United States in 1867 lost about two-thirds of its weight in scouring; the same was the case with the wool which was then expected to be imported. Further allowance was made for some wastage of the fibre in the manufacturing process. Thus the compensating duty on woolens was fixed on the supposition that four pounds of wool would be needed to make one pound of cloth. At the outset of this legislation, carding was the only process for producing wool cloth.

Woolen yarns

  • made from shorter wool fibers of 1 to 3 inches
  • crinkled, fuzzy texture
  • almost always single yarns
  • thicker and more loosely twisted than worsted yarns
  • used to make fall and winter clothing such as flannels and tweeds

Worsted yarns

  • made from longer wool fibers of 3 to 6 inches
  • combed to lie parallel to each other, smooth texture
  • usually multiple ply yarns
  • finer and more tightly twisted than woolen yarns
  • used to make warm weather clothing such as gabardines and tropicals

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