Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/821

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THE SAVINGS OF SCIENCE.

indigenous rabbit-skins and 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 hare-skins are used up in this country. The skins of those which are not used or dyed as furs are, after the hair has been pulled for the hat-maker and for stuffing beds, employed for glove-making. The hair is also now used for making yarn and cloth.

The wool manufacture, in almost all countries, now uses up cuttings of cloth and shreds of all kinds which were formerly thrown away. These, and the strippings and waste in carding, are now classed immediately after pure wool, and command relatively high prices. There are many who may be disposed to regard the shoddy manufacture as a business to be despised, but the political economist discovers in it a most important source of wealth—wealth resulting from the application of skilled labor to the utilization of material once worthless, but now contributing no mean sums annually to the wealth of nations.

There are now 137 shoddy-factories, principally situated in the Yorkshire district, which employ over 5,000 persons, 3,000 of whom are females. About 40,000 tons of woolen rags are annually torn into shoddy in England alone, and the quantity made in the United States must be almost equal. No accurate data can be found of the European use of these articles, but an immense quantity of both shoddy and mungo is now made and exported from the Continent, principally to England, and it is probable that the whole of the world's annual consumption is over £7,000,000 in value. At the recent International Wool Exhibition, held at the Crystal Palace under my charge, there were shoddies sent from most of the states of Europe. Italy first began to work woolen rags into yarn in 1858, and most of the other European countries followed the example.

Raw silk having become scarce and dear of late years, much more attention has been given to the employment of the different sorts of silk waste, for which, at one time, scarcely any use could be found.

The variety of these is very large, and most of them are now profitably and extensively employed. The outside and inside husks of the cocoons used to be mere refuse. These pass under various trade names in different countries; in England, as "knubs and husks" and "floss silk"; on the Continent, as bourre de soie, frisonets, and floret. What is termed "yarn waste" is the waste made by the silk throwster. The pierced cocoons, that have been eaten through by the moths, are now largely employed in the preparation of chappe, or schappe. Then there are the noils and thread waste from the silk-factories.

In 1857 the imports of these waste silks were only 18,000 hundredweight, valued at £302,286. In 1881 the imports reached 540,119 hundred-weight, valued at 757,796. France, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States have now entered extensively into the utilization of silk waste for manufactures, which was formerly