Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/822

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a drug in the market. In the Swiss report on the Paris Exhibition of 1867, it was stated that the annual production of floss-silk yarns then ranged in value from £400,000 to £600,000. In 1872 about 7,750,000 pounds of thread were made from waste silk in Europe. In the United States, 2,000 to 3,000 bales of waste silk are used up annually, valued at 200,000. Italy exports annually about 5,000,000 pounds of silk waste.

There are fifteen establishments in France, with 479,353 spindles, working up waste-silk; that is, the waste from the cocoon not reelable, the short pieces, etc. What remains over from this working is again used up by seven other factories, which, by means of further combing and carding, employ waste formerly only partially utilized or altogether lost to consumption.

In connection with this subject I may draw attention to the stimulus given to the collection of the cocoons of the wild silk-worm of India, known under the name of Tusser. These, which were formerly only used in the East for making a kind of drab or coffee-colored silk, have now been made to take dyes, and are profitably employed in the silk manufacture in England. The waste of the wild cocoons in China and Japan is made into felt for hats, and enters into the manufacture of paper.

The improvements in machinery for the preparation and spinning of silk-waste have made great strides of late, and whereas a few years ago one never heard of anything but "spun-silk" hosiery, handkerchiefs, or some other little article of similar make, the whole world now knows the schappe velvets of Crefeld, the "spun" ribbons of Basle, and the laces of Nottingham, while the king of silk-spinners—Lister, of Manningham—has even produced machine-twist of excellent quality from this unlikely material.

The refuse from the tanneries, now so profitably utilized, is of considerable importance; it consists of untanned dried pelt, or glue-pieces, fleshings, hair, lime deposit, and spent-tan. Glue-pieces or "scrolls," as they are termed, are sold to the paper-maker, and scores of tons for the manufacture of gelatine and portable soups. Ordinary size is made from the flesh refuse of the hide, and is extensively used by paper-hangers, cotton-spinners (to give firmness to the thread), and carpet manufacturers. The so-called cheap seal-skins are manufactured in the north of England from common plasterers' hair, or that obtained from the tan-pits. There has been made for many years, in Germany, printing-paper and cardboard of the waste bark from tanneries. The common papers receive about ten or fifteen per cent of this pulp; the boards for roofing from twenty to forty per cent. Artificial leather is also now extensively made from leather cuttings, pressed and rolled into sheets with some glutinous composition.

Latterly it has been found that leather-waste cuttings, etc., when steamed with certain waste liquors, produce a valuable material in the