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Catechism of Familiar Things; Their History, and the Events Which Led to Their Discovery, A

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<SPAN name="CHAPTER_V" id="CHAPTER_V"></SPAN>CHAPTER V.</h2> <h3><span class="smcap">Bombazine, Crape, Camlet, Cambric, Lace, Silk, Velvet, and Mohair.</span></h3> <p><b>What is Bombazine?</b></p> <p>A stuff composed of silk and wool woven together in a loom. It was first made at Milan, and thence sent abroad; great quantities are now made in England and other countries.</p> <p><b>Where is Milan situated?</b></p> <p>In Italy, and is noted for its cathedral.</p> <p><b>For what is Bombazine used?</b></p> <p>For dresses. Black bombazine is worn entirely for mourning. The original bombazine has, however, become much less used than formerly, on account of the numerous newly-invented fabrics of finer or coarser qualities, composed of the same materials mixed in various degrees, as Mousselines de laine, Challis, &amp;c.</p> <p><b>What is Crape?</b></p> <p>A light, transparent stuff, resembling gauze, made of raw silk very loosely woven, or of wool; by raw silk is meant, silk in the state in which it is taken from the silk worm.</p> <p><b>Where was Crape first made?</b></p> <p>At Bologna, a city of Italy.</p> <p><b>What city of France was long celebrated for its manufacture?</b></p> <p>Lyons, the second city of France, where there are large silk <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_41" id="Page_41"></SPAN>[41]</span>manufactories. Great quantities are also made in England, principally in the city of Norwich, which has long been distinguished for the beauty of its crapes.</p> <p><b>What is Camlet?</b></p> <p>A stuff made sometimes of wool, sometimes of silk and hair, especially that of goats. The oriental camlet is made of the pure hair of a sort of goat, a native of Angora, a city of Natolia, in Turkey. The European camlets are made of a mixture of woollen thread and hair.</p> <p><b>What countries are most noted for them?</b></p> <p>England, France, Holland, and Flanders; the city of Brussels, in Belgium, exceeds them all in the beauty and quality of its camlets; those of England are the next.</p> <p><b>What is Cambric?</b></p> <p>A species of linen made of flax; it is very fine and white.</p> <p><b>From whence did it take its name?</b></p> <p>From Cambray, a large and celebrated city of French Flanders, where it was first made; it is now made at other places in France; and also in England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States, &amp;c.</p> <p><b>What is Lace?</b></p> <p>A work composed of many threads of fine linen or silk, interwoven one with another according to some particular pattern. Belgium, France, and England are the principal countries in which this manufacture is carried on; vast quantities of the finest laces were formerly made in Flanders.</p> <p><b>From what is Silk produced?</b></p> <p>From the silk-worm, an insect not more remarkable for the precious matter it furnishes, than for the many forms it assumes before and after it envelopes itself in the beautiful ball, the silken threads of which form the elegant texture which is so much worn.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Texture</i>, a web or substance woven.</p></div> <p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_42" id="Page_42"></SPAN>[42]</span></p> <p><b>What are the habits of this insect, and on what does it feed</b>?</p> <p>After bursting from the egg, it becomes a large worm or caterpillar of a yellowish white color, (which is its first state;) this caterpillar feeds on the leaves of the mulberry tree, till, arriving at maturity, it winds itself up in a silken bag or case, called a cocoon, about the size and shape of a pigeon's egg, and becomes a chrysalis; in which state it lies without signs of life; in about ten days it eats its way out of its case, a perfect butterfly, which lays a number of eggs and then dies. In the warmth of the summer weather, these eggs are hatched, and become worms, as their parents did at first.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Maturity</i>, ripeness, perfection</p></div> <p><b>How much silk is each ball said to contain?</b></p> <p>Each ball consists of a very fine, soft, bright, delicate thread, which being wound off, extends in length six miles.</p> <p><b>What is meant by Chrysalis?</b></p> <p>The second state into which the insect passes before it comes to be a butterfly. The maggot or worm having ceased to eat, fixes itself in some place till its skin separates, and discovers a horny, oblong body, which is the chrysalis.</p> <p><b>Where was Silk first made?</b></p> <p>The culture and manufacture of silk was originally confined to China. The Greeks, under Alexander the Great, brought home, among other Eastern luxuries, wrought silks from Persia, about 323, <span class="smcap">b.c.</span> It was not long unknown to the Romans, although it was so rare, that it was even sold weight for weight with gold. The Emperor Aurelian, who died in 275, <span class="smcap">b.c.</span> refused the Empress, his wife, a suit of silk which she solicited with much earnestness, merely on account of its dearness. Heliogabalus, the Emperor, who died half a century before Aurelian, was the first who wore a <i>holosericum</i> or garment all of silk.</p><p><span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_43" id="Page_43"></SPAN>[43]</span></p> <p><b>Who introduced the Silk Worm itself into Europe?</b></p> <p>Two monks, engaged as missionaries in China, obtained a quantity of silk worms' eggs, which they concealed in a hollow cane, and conveyed in safety to Constantinople in 552; the eggs were hatched in the proper season by the warmth of manure, and the worms fed with the leaves of the wild mulberry tree. These worms in due time spun their silk, and propagated under the care of the monks, who also instructed the Romans in the whole process of manufacturing their production. From the insects thus produced, proceeded all the silk worms which have since been reared in Europe, and the western parts of Asia. The mulberry tree was then eagerly planted, and on this, their natural food, they were successfully reared in Greece; and the manufacture was established at Thebes, Athens, and Corinth, in particular. The Venetians, soon after this time commencing a trade with the Greeks, supplied all the Western parts of Europe with silks for many centuries.</p> <p><b>Where were the cities of Thebes and Athens situated?</b></p> <p>Thebes was an ancient city of Beotia, in Greece, founded by Cadmus, a Phenician, though of Egyptian parentage. Sailing from the coast of Phenicia, he arrived in Beotia, and built the city, calling it Thebes, from the city of that name in Egypt. To this prince is ascribed the invention of sixteen letters of the Greek Alphabet. Athens was the capital of Attica, founded by Cecrops, an Egyptian. It was the seat of learning and the arts, and has produced some of the most celebrated warriors, statesmen, orators, poets, and sculptors in the world. Since the emancipation of Greece from the cruel bondage of its conquerors the Turks, who had oppressed it for three centuries, Athens has been chosen as its capital, and is still a considerable town adorned with splendid ruins of the beautiful buildings it once possessed. Thebes and Corinth, another celebrated city, are now only villages. <span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_44" id="Page_44"></SPAN>[44]</span> </p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Warrior</i>, a soldier.</p> <p><i>Statesmen</i>, men versed in the arts of government.</p> <p><i>Orator</i>, a public speaker.</p> <p><i>Poet</i>, one who composes poetry.</p> <p><i>Sculptor</i>, one who cuts figures in stone, marble, or ivory.</p></div> <p><b>Who were the Venetians?</b></p> <p>Inhabitants of Venice, a city of Italy.</p> <p><b>Did this manufacture continue to be confined to the Greeks and Venetians?</b></p> <p>By no means. The rest of Italy, and Spain, by degrees learnt the art from some manufactories in Sicily; and about the reign of Francis the First, the French became masters of it. It, however, long remained a rarity; their King, Henry the Second, is supposed to have worn the first pair of knit silk stockings. The Fourth Henry encouraged the planting of mulberry trees; his successors also did the same, and the produce of silk in France is now very considerable.</p> <p><b>When was the manufacture of silk introduced into England?</b></p> <p>There was a company of silk women in England as early as the year 1455; but they probably were merely employed in needlework of silk and thread, for Italy supplied England with the broad manufacture during the chief part of the fifteenth century. The great advantage this new manufacture afforded, made King James the First very desirous for its introduction into England, particularly in 1608, when it was recommended, in very earnest terms, to plant mulberry trees for the rearing of silk worms; but unhappily without effect. However, towards the latter end of this reign, the broad silk manufacture was introduced, and with great success. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes contributed greatly to its promotion, by the number of French workmen who took refuge in England; to them the English are indebted for the art of manufacturing many elegant kinds of silks, satins, velvets, &amp;c., which had formerly been imported from abroad up to the year 1718. The silk manu<span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_45" id="Page_45"></SPAN>[45]</span>facture has also been successfully introduced into some portions of the United States.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Revocation</i>, act of recalling, repeal.</p> <p><i>Imported</i>, brought into.</p></div> <p><b>What was the Edict of Nantes?</b></p> <p>A law made in favor of the Protestants, the repealing of which drove many of their most skilful workmen to take refuge in England. They were kindly received, and settled in Spitalfields, and many other parts of England as well as Ireland, where they carried on a flourishing and ingenious manufacture.</p> <p><b>Were the attempts to rear Silk Worms in England successful?</b></p> <p>No; after many trials, all of which failed, attention was directed to the establishments for procuring both raw and wrought silks, in the settlements in India belonging to Britain; this was attended with complete success, the climate being extremely favorable, and the price of labor cheap. Raw silk is imported in quantities from India, China, Italy, &amp;c.</p> <p><b>How is the Silk taken from the Worm?</b></p> <p>The people who are employed in the care of these insects collect the golden balls from off the mulberry trees, (to the leaves of which the insects glue their silk) and put them into warm water, that the threads may unfasten and wind off more easily; having taken off the coarse woolly part which covers the balls, they take twelve or fourteen threads at a time, and wind them off into skeins. In order to prepare this beautiful material for the hand of the weaver to be wrought into silks, stuffs, brocades, satins, velvets, ribbons, &amp;c., it is spun, reeled, milled, bleached, and dyed.</p> <div class="blockquot"><p><i>Milled</i>, worked in a kind of mill.</p> <p><i>Bleached</i>, whitened.</p></div> <p><b>What is Velvet?</b></p> <p>A rich kind of stuff, all silk, covered on the outside with a close, short, fine, soft shag; the wrong side being very strong and close. The principal number, and the best velvets, were made in France and Italy; others in Holland; they are now<span class="pagenum"><SPAN name="Page_46" id="Page_46"></SPAN>[46]</span> brought to great perfection in England. An inferior kind is made by mixing cotton with the silk. Velvet has been known in Europe for some centuries, but its manufacture was long confined to some of the chief cities of Italy. From that country the French learned the art, and greatly improved it.</p> <p><b>Whence is the word Velvet derived?</b></p> <p>From the Italian word <i>velluto</i>, signifying velvet, which comes from <i>vellus</i>, hair or fleece.</p> <p><b>What is Mohair?</b></p> <p>The hair of a kind of goat, common about Angora, in Turkey. It is used in the manufacture of various kinds of stuffs, shawls, &amp;c.</p> <p><b>Is there not another animal much celebrated for the material it furnishes in the making of shawls?</b></p> <p>Yes; the Thibet goat. The wool is sent to Cashmere, where it is spun and dyed. Cashmere is situated in the north-west extremity of India, and has long been celebrated for the beautiful and valuable shawls bearing its name which are manufactured there. The goats are beautiful creatures, with long, fine, wavy hair, reaching nearly to the ground, so as almost to conceal their legs. The material of which the shawls are made is a fine silky down, which grows under the long hair, next to the skin.</p> <hr style="width: 65%;" /> <h2>
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