As has been pointed out, the demand for woolen goods is so much greater than the supply that it is necessary to resort to various measures to increase the supply of cloth. One method is to use the wool over and over again. Rags are bought up by the rag-man, sold to the larger dealer, again to the "shoddy" manufacturer, who cleans them, sorts them, tears them to pieces, and uses the best all-wool rags to produce fibers, which are re-spun and again woven, either separately, if of very good quality, or mixed with new wool or cotton. Such a material is warm, looks well for a time, and has its place, but must not be bought for new wool or demand the price of good woolen cloth. This industry is enormous and shoddy is often found in expensive novelty materials as well as in cheap "all-wool" cloth. Because of the shortness of the fibers, it may be detected readily when used alone, but in combination with good wool it is more difficult to detect.
One class of shoddy consists of very short fibers, clippings from the mills, which are worked into the surface of a felted cloth after it is woven. These short fibers after a time work out, and are found in the bottoms of coats and inside the linings, leaving the surface of the cloth threadbare.
Characteristics and uses of some common woolen materials.
A thin fabric of close texture made from the fibers of an animal of the llama species. Since this fiber is hard to spin, it is generally combined with a cotton or a silk warp. It is used for linings and dresses.
A fabric with a curly, wavy surface resembling astrakhan fleece. It is used for dress and coat trimming, such as collar and muff sets.
A fine woolen cloth with ribs of different widths running with the length. It is often all-wool, but the raised ribs are sometimes padded with cotton. It is used for dresses.
A close felted material, very thick but light in weight. The surface is often wavy. It is used for suits and coats.
A cloth resembling mohair, generally a plain weave with a cotton or silk warp. It has a hard wiry feel. It is used for dresses and linings for heavy coats and suits.
A soft, closely woven material with a satin finish. The surface is napped in the finishing process and then pressed down. The best qualities are called satin broadcloth. It is used for dresses and suits.
A plain, even thread weave of mohair, wool, or worsted. It is used for flags.
Made from the hair of the cashmere goat. The surface is twilled but rather uneven, since the yarn is very difficult to spin. It is used for dresses and wraps.
A plain, even weave of soft texture. A challis design is always printed. It is used for dresses, kimonos, and children's dresses.
A stout woolen cloth woven with a rather shaggy surface. It is used for.dresses, suits, and wraps.
Heavy coating material with rough wavy surface.
Heavy twilled cloth generally in natural undyed shades. It is used for suits and coats.
Fabric made by pressing a mass of wool fiber together. It is used for padding, banners, and table-covers.
Coarse-threaded, loosely woven, light-weight fabric more or less spongy and elastic. It is used for baby dresses and garments.
A variety of white flannel finished with a nap. Cotton warp and woolen filling. It is used for baby dresses.
A very heavy blanket-like material used by lumbermen and outdoor workers for overshirts and jackets.
Silk-warp flannel - -A high-grade, pure variety of flannel woven with a silk warp. It is used for infants' wear, shawls, and undergarments.
A light-weight variety of flannel. It is used for children's and infants' wear.
Plain weave of silk and wool, or silk and cotton. It is used for umbrella coverings.
An openwork net-like fabric in fancy designs. Woven of silk wool, mohair, or cotton. It is used for dresses.
A twilled cashmere of light weight. It is used for dresses.
A rough, loosely woven material. The yarns are often quite uneven. It is used for men's and women's suitings and coatings.
A felted satin-finish woolen fabric with a satin weave on the back. It is used for overcoats.
A coarse cloth of linen and wool. It is used for inexpensive skirts and dresses.
A thick heavy woolen fabric with a short nap. It generally comes in black or dark blue. It is used for coats and suits.
Woven of worsted yarn in a plain weave. A solid color usually piece-dyed, or dyed after it is woven. It is used for dresses and suits.
A rich, satin-faced worsted fabric, usually in plain colors. It is used for suits and dresses.
Worsted material with twill weave. This material comes in many weights and qualities. It may be obtained in any color. It is used for suits and dresses.
Heavy-weight cotton warp, mohair filled cloth. It is used for dresses and linings.
Plaids of various Scottish clans. They are worn as diagonal scarfs.
A soft, woolly, rough-finished woolen material. It is usually woven of yarns of two or more shades or colors. It is used for suits and separate skirts.
A thick, soft, felted material. It is used for suits and coats.
A soft wool cloth with a teasled surface, resembling cheviot. It is used for waists.
Material woven with a plain, even weave and a hard twisted yarn. It is dyed in plain colors. It is used for dresses.
Whipcord is much like serge with a pronounced diagonal line. It is used for suits and dresses.
A material with a serge weave. The diagonal effect is made very prominent. It is used for suits, dresses and separate skirts.
A fabric woven with yarn of little twist. The twill effect of the weave is covered with loose fibers. This material is very dense. It is used for suits and coats.
Woven in much the same way as unfinished worsted but with a much tighter twisted yarn. The weave may be distinctly seen. It is not so dense as the unfinished worsted. It is used for suits and coats.
The better grades are woven with a worsted warp and camel's hair filling. These long hairs from the filling spread over the surface. It is used for suits.