A Treatise on the Mulberry Tree and Silkworm: And on the Production and Manufacture of Silk

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Thomas, Cowperthwait, 1832 - Mulberry - 364 pages
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Apart from the book's intrinsic merits -- it seems a very sloppy scanning job on Google's part.

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Page 27 - ... provision for your worms in case of wet weather. If leaves are given when wet they will cause disease. Be careful never to pull the leaves when wet, either with rain or dew, except on absolute necessity, and in that case you must spread them and turn them, that the leaves may be perfectly dry before you give them to the worms ; rats, mice, spiders, ants and fowls are very destructive to the worms ; care must be taken therefore to keep them out of the way of all such enemies. , THE NURSERY, SHELVES,...
Page 61 - State requires. If it be calculated for twist, it is made three threaded, twisted and done up into sticks with a small hand machine, and is then ready for the market. • The floss, or tow, as it is called, is boiled in strong suds for three hours, dried, picked, carded, and spun on a common wool wheel. The yarn is woven into cloth, which is worn by the women for every-day gowns.
Page 31 - The litter is taken away in the following manner ; you scatter some fresh leaves upon one corner of the shelf, to which the worms having attached themselves, which they will readily do, you then take up the worms by means of the leaves and stalks they cling to, leaving the litter underneath. Having thus taken up all the worms from that corner and placed them in a clean place, you then clear away the litter from that corner and carefully sweep together with a little broom or wing, all the dirt, which...
Page 52 - ... and thereby to loosen the ends of the filaments. She is then to stir the cocoons with the end of the whisk as lightly as possible, until one or more of the fibres or filaments adhere to it ; when, disengaging it, and laying aside the whisk, she is to draw the filament towards her, until it come off quite clean from the floss which always surrounds the cocoon, and the fine silk begins to appear ; then breaking off the thread, and collecting the floss first taken off, she must put it aside ; the...
Page 57 - The water is also necessary for the woman managing the cocoons, to cool her fingers. More fuel should also be at hand to increase the heat quickly, when the cocoons do not give off their silk readily. If there should happen to be any sand in the water, the heat causes it to rise to the surface and fix on the cocoons, the thread of which will break as if cut ; for this reason the utmost care must be taken to guard against it and to remove it. Previously to being boiled, the water should be permitted...
Page 26 - The advance of the season determines the time of hatching the eggs. As soon as the leaf of the mulberry begins to unfold — which is generally in this climate (New England,) the latter part of May — and you observe that there is a prospect of having a sufficient quantity of food, it is time to expose the eggs to hatch. No other process is necessary than to expose them to the air in a room ; they hatch voluntarily in a day or two after the exposure. Various modes are adopted in Europe — hatching...
Page 53 - The fire may at any time be increased or diminished, as found necessary, that the reel may be allowed a proper motion, which ought to be as quick as possible without endangering the breaking of the thread, or hurrying the spinner, so that she cannot add fresh cocoons, as fast as the old ones are ended. The quicker the motion of the wheel is, the better the silks winds off and the better the end joins to the thread.
Page 48 - ... of water, kept boiling by charcoal fires beneath. Each (by a whisk of peeled birch) collected the threads en masse ; the first confused portions were rejected till the threads unwound regularly, freely passing over the glass rods to prevent the injuries of friction. The first portions, necessarily useless, are separated by the hand.
Page 59 - In preparing the dupions or double cocoons for winding, more are put into the basin at once than of the finest kind. They must be first well cleaned from the floss outside ; the water also must be boiling hot, and as the silk they yield is of a coarser quality than the other, and has a good deal of floss upon it, the person who turns the reel must take the opportunity, while the one who manages the basin is preparing the cocoons for winding, to clean and pick off the loose silk from that which is...
Page 30 - ... expeditious way of cleaning them at that time. In giving the leaves to the young worms, you must make the leaves lie hollow upon them, to give air to the worms. When put on too flat and close, they prevent that free circulation of the air which is at all times necessary for the health of these insects. During the whole of the first age, the leaves of the young plants of the mulberry, in the seed bed and nursery, as being the tenderest, are greatly preferable to the leaves of older trees as food...

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