+ ~ -
 
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
 
Report an Error
Go!
 
Go!
 
TOC
 

œthereand so are the characteristic outlines
of the men themselves; but, much more so,
are the figures of the children, one of whom
sits lowly at the end of each loom, winding
the spools for the shuttle. Each child has its
little reel, and works beside its father, or
other employer. The youngest-looking boy
we spoke to was nine, and few of the girls
could have been much older. All looked neat
and healthy; and the work is light enough.
They earn about three shillings per week, each.

The most responsible work done by children
here, and that which requires the most
diligent attention, is that of the boy who
attends the Jacquard loom in which a Brussels
or Wilton carpet is woven. The weaver has
enough to do to mind his weft, without being
charged with the other management of the
loom. So an intelligent boy does three or four
things in succession (with a moment's rest
between), which seemed to us to make up a
great day's work, and for which he is paid
three shillings and sixpence per week. He
pulls the cord by which, in Jacquard looms,
the threads of the warp are raised or depressed
as they are wanted. The weaver having
passed his fingers between the raised and
depressed threads, to make sure that they are
clear of each other, the boy slides in a polished
piece of wood, thin and broad (called the
"sword"), by which, when turned on its side,
the upper arid under series of threads are
kept well apart, and the weaver inserts his
"wire"— a steel skewer, as long (from the
head) as the carpet is wide. The shuttle is
now thrown, and the yarn which encloses the
wires of course forms loops when the wires
are withdrawn. There is something almost
painful in seeing by how gradual and
laborious a process every hair's-breadth of the
carpets we tread upon so carelessly, is made.
We buy a good Brussels carpet at four
shillings and sixpence a yard, or a Wilton
(called Velvet) at five shillings and sixpence,
and we do not think of the wool coming down
the Indus to Bombay; nor of the dyes from
the Pacific; nor of the linen thread, sown,
grown, and prepared near Belfast; nor of the
mill processes; nor of this weaver, who has
to give his mind to every cast of the shuttle;
nor of this boy, who is now heaving at the
cord- now thrusting in his "sword," and
turning, and withdrawing itfor every new
loop of the whole fabric. But, what an
amount of human diligence it is, to purchase
at the rate of four or five shillings a yard!

The Velvet or Wilton carpets are woven
much in the same way. The difference is,
that the "wires," instead of being of steel,
and round, are of brass, and angular, with a
groove along one of the sides. This groove is
indicated to the touch of the weaver by the
handle of the wire being open in a line with
the groove. The wire is inserted with the
grooved edge uppermost; and when the
weaver has covered a few wires, he runs his
knife along the groove of the hindmost,
cutting the loops; and, of course, giving the
pile which causes the fabric to be called
Velvet.

One man in this establishment wove the
rug, with a dog from Landseer for the pattern,
which won a prize at the Exhibition. It is
of the fabric called "finger-rugs," from the
yarn being dexterously inserted by the fingers;
and, when well fastened in by a weft of linen
thread, snipped off with shears, and left soft
and velvety. Very soft are the eyes and
muzzle of this prize dog, and very tufty are
his black spots. To be sure, we do not think
him a very good subject for a rug, as we do
not habitually tread upon dogs; but then
the same might be said of a large proportion
of the carpets bought by people who do not
suppose themselves deficient in taste.

Of one hundred and twenty looms, one-sixth
may be employed in weaving Brussels carpets,
and about eighty in weaving Kidderminster or
Scotch carpets. A good deal of Dutch carpeting
is also made for landings and passages, and
for some bed-rooms. It is the simplest sort
of all, with small variety of patterns, but
excellent for wear, and agreeable from its look
of homely neatness and comfort. There is a
"barrel loom," invented by a workman of
Messrs. Whitwell's, which is worth notice
from its ingenuity, though it cannot compete
with the Jacquard loom. It looks, in its
place aloft, much like the apparatus of a
shower-bath. Its barrel is set with wires,
like those of a barrel-organ, by which certain
threads of the warp are lifted up and held
apart from others, while the shuttle is thrown.
Of other kinds of loom, it would be merely
puzzling to speak; or we could tell of more.

Four engineers are retained by this establishment;
and it takes about the half of the time
of one of them to keep the looms in order.

When the fabric comes from the looms, it
has still to pass under the eye and hand of
a woman, whose business it is to see that no
knots or other blemishes remain visible.
Having been thus revised and "picked," the
carpet is wound on a roller, in a machine,,
which indicates its precise length at the same
time: and then it is tacked with pack-thread,
ticketed, and (unless made to order from a
distance) deposited on the shelves of the
warehouse. If it have to travel, it is packed
in a hydraulic press, which reduces it to the
smallest compass.

Such is a history of the trouble Kendal
takes to give us an easy and pleasant footing
in our homes. All honour to the art, and
prosperity to the artists!

CHIPS.

HOMŒOPATHY.

WE have never been subjects of the Homœopathic
mode of treatment, nor have we ever
been concerned in making others so. But as
we desire to state the Homopathic Doctrine