1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ticking

TICKING, a strong linen or cotton fabric usually woven in stripes of colour; blue and pink with white being the most common. The name is derived from a word “tick,” common in various forms to many languages, signifying a case or sheath. Ticking is used for mattresses, awnings and tents. In some qualities it is also used as a foundation for embroidery.

White, grey, or brownish warp threads are usually flax, while the coloured threads are often cotton. The weft is flax or tow. The warps of many of the cheaper kinds are made entirely of cotton, and jute is used for weft in the cheapest grades. A feather tick should be made of fine flax yarns set closely, and there should also be a large number of weft threads per inch. Sometimes the inside of the tick is waxed in order to prevent the feathers from working out.

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Fig. 1.

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Fig. 2.

The structure of the fabric is termed a twill, of which four varieties, each showing four units, are illustrated. Fig. 1, the ordinary three-leaf twill, is more extensively used than any other. Occasionally the pattern or twill is in one direction only, but more often the direction is reversed at intervals, thus producing what is technically termed a “herring-bone” or an “arrow-head” twill. Fig. 2 complete on twenty-four threads and three picks shows such a pattern, where the twill is reversed every twelve threads. Figs. 3 and 4 are the four-thread and five-thread straight twills respectively, while fig. 5 is the five-thread sateen twill. These two latter weaves require a great number of threads and picks per inch, and are used only in the finest ticks. The plain weave is occasionally used for cheaper varieties.

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Fig. 3.

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Fig. 4.

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Fig. 5.

Mattress ticks and awnings are woven with the same twills, but the colouring of these, especially of the former, is more elaborate.