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A New Medford industry.

The American Woolen Company have located their new plant in West Medford for the reclaiming of wool waste, worsted waste, and other by-products of a woolen and worsted mill. We are the first textile manufacturers to take up this branch.

Wool production.

Sheep thrive in every civilized country of the world. As far back as history records, herding of sheep and growing of wool have claimed the attention of the human race. It has always been recognized that wool possesses certain qualities for which no substitute can be found. No other fibre has the spinning and felting properties combined with health and warmth giving characteristics so necessary for the protection of the human body.

For wools used in the manufacture of wearing apparel we, in competition with the rest of the world, must bid in markets of Australia, New Zealand, Argentine, Uraguay and British South Africa. These are the world's producing areas where the clip is not used for domestic manufacturing, but is available for export to countries which have the equipment to convert this wool into the finished products. [p. 38]

Nineteen sixteen was the world's greatest year for production of wool, with the following amounts produced for export. Australia, New Zealand, 644,000,000 greasy or 353,000,000 scoured; British South Africa, 157,000,000 greasy or 52,000,000 scoured; Argentine, Uruguay, 409,000,000 greasy or 245,000,000 scoured.

What shoddy is.

In the popular conception, shoddy typifies that which is undesirable. The word is a synonym of inferiority, subterfuge and deceit. The public is accustomed to condemn where it does not understand, and it seems desirable that some light should be shed to clear up this misconception in the use of shoddy. The word shoddy is derived from shod, meaning a parting or separation.

Before cloth can be woven the wool must first be spun into yarn which is either woolen or worsted, depending both on process and the raw materials used. Worsted yarn must be made from virgin wool which is combed so the fibres lie parallel along the length of the yarn. Such yarn can be utilized in a fabric where strength and durability are desired rather than warmth and imperviousness. Woolen yarn is made from wool fibres, and instead of combing, the process of carding is used, which interlaces, mixes and crisscrosses the fibre to the maximum possible. Such a yarn is more lofty, and permits felting and locking of the individual strands of yarn when they are woven, thereby producing a cloth which is less porous than worsted cloth but not necessarily so strong. It is not only desirable that woolen cloth be made from yarn which has both long and short fibres, but it is essential that such be the case if a compact, airtight fabric is to be produced, the longer fibre providing the strength and the shorter ones filling up the spaces and binding the contiguous yarns in a piece of cloth.

The first by-product of a worsted mill is noils. These are short wool fibres combed out of wool to be spun into a worsted yarn. Noils form the most important raw [p. 39] stock in a woolen mill. As the wool progresses through its various stages in the manufacture of cloth, minor wastes appear, such as card waste, flyings, and strippings, and although this wool fibre has not been subjected to wear and tear of usage, it can be only utilized in a woolen mill, as it is neither virgin wool nor noils and is classed as shoddy.

Real shoddy, however, as it is understood, consists of fragments of cloth or other wool material which has to be picked preparatory to its use on woolen cards. From the tailor's clips which are left after his patterns are cut, is derived an important source of shoddy. Shoddy is as good or as bad as the cloth from which it is derived. So on down the scale to frayed and worn-out stockings, which have been discarded to the ragman; to the cotton and wool mixtures which have to be carbonized and neutralized to eliminate the vegetable matter; these are the sources of the shoddy supply.

If it were not for re-worked wool there would not be enough wool in the world to clothe the human race.

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