Cheney Brothers Silk Yarn Dyeing

1916

The gum has already been removed for spun silk yarn, but remains for reeled silk. In order to take the dye evenly, the reeled silk is usually degummed by boiling in soap and water and rinsed in cold water. The loss of evenly, the reeled silk is usually degummed by boiling in soap and water and rinsed in cold water. The loss of ruchings, may be dyed with the gum in, and some known as souples, with a part of the gum in. Before dyeing, , may be dyed with the gum in, and some known as souples, with a part of the gum in. Before dyeing, the silk souples, with a part of the gum in. Before dyeing, the silk may be soaked in mordants, the object is to make the , with a part of the gum in. Before dyeing, the silk may be soaked in mordants, the object is to make the yarn take the dye better, but they are not as necessary as in the case of cotton. (Silk has natural positively-­charged groups that attract negatively-­charged dyes; cotton does not have such groups).

drawing_machines_cheney

Drawing Machines 1916.  Scans courtesy of Peter Metzke

 

 

 

 

In the old method, the yarn was hung over rods and let fall into the bark or vat, of hot dye solution. Workmen had to constantly turn the skeins to keep the dye uptake even and avoid a streak where the skein rested on the rod. Machines recently developed consist of a large reel, similar to a small Ferris wheel, on the rounds of which are hung the skeins. When the reel revolves, not only are the skeins dipped periodically into the dye bath, but each round of the wheel is itself turned automatically to keep the skeins turning and avoid a streak in any particular spot. The dye bath is kept at temperature by steam.

After dyeing, the yarn was formerly hung over a peg in the wall, and wrung as much as possible by turning a smooth stick which had been run through the other end of the skein. The present method uses a revolving cylinder or extractor that drives out the water by centrifugal force. The luster formerly added by hand­wringing is now given by stretching the yarn under steam pressure.

Source:   Manchester, H. H., The Story of Silk and Cheney Silk, Cheney Brothers, South Manchester, Connecticut, 1916.